Corey Hart and his wife Julie Masse are shown in a handout photo. orey Hart’s sizzling contributions to pop music will be in focus at the Juno Awards on Sunday, but the hitmaker says this year he’ll be recognizing another significant personal milestone at the event. Nearly 26 years ago, Hart was introduced to his wife, Quebecois singer Julie Masse, when they handed out the Juno for group of the year together live on the broadcast. (Juno Awards/Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences photo)

Corey Hart’s hall of fame induction at the Junos marks another special occasion

The Juno Awards air Sunday on CBC-TV

Corey Hart’s sizzling contributions to pop music will be in focus at the Juno Awards on Sunday, but the hitmaker says this year he’ll be recognizing another significant personal milestone at the event.

Nearly 26 years ago, Hart was introduced to his wife, Quebecois singer Julie Masse, when they handed out the Juno for group of the year together live on the broadcast.

But it wasn’t originally supposed to happen that way — an 11th-hour scheduling snafu is how the stars aligned for the couple back in 1993.

“If I hadn’t been pig-headed, opinionated or following my inner voice, I never would’ve met her,” said Hart, ahead of his induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

The performer was initially set to hand out album of the year, but Juno producers shuffled presenters and asked him to announce video of the year instead.

Hart was on his way to the dress rehearsal when he got the call about a change of plans.

The “Sunglasses at Night” singer-songwriter says he rejected the idea on the spot, thinking it “was a demotion” for a musician to hand out a visual prize.

“That just doesn’t feel right,” he remembered telling the producers. “So, no problem I just won’t present this year.”

A few minutes after hanging up, the producers called back with another offer — he could pair up with Masse, a rising francophone star, to pass out the group of the year award.

Hart was immediately on board.

Masse was coming off her sophomore album that night and picked up best new female artist.

READ MORE: Juno Awards returning to Saskatoon next year for the first time since 2007

When host Celine Dion welcomed the pair onto the stage, their casual banter was magnetic. They announced the Barenaked Ladies as the winners of the Juno.

As Hart made his way back to his seat, Masse’s manager stopped him to gush about their stage presence.

“He quickly garbled out to me that Julie was going to be pursuing a career in English,” Hart said.

“He thought we looked like we had great chemistry together. I don’t think (this) is what he imagined when he made that comment.”

Months later, Hart wound up in the studio working alongside producer Tom Lord-Alge on Masse’s single “One More Moment.” More songs followed as production moved to Morin-Heights, Que.

The pair was in love by the following year, he said.

“Literally from the time we started seeing each other in the summer of 1994 we’ve never been apart for more than a few days,” he said.

Both Hart and Masse were in crumbling marriages at the time, he said, and those quickly dissolved.

“It was complicated,” he added.

The couple had three daughters before they wed in 2000, and a son after they tied the knot.

When Hart began to ease out of Canada’s music industry the family settled in Barbados.

In more recent years, Hart, now 56, and Masse have collaborated on each other’s work. She appears as a backup singer on his upcoming EP “Dreaming Time Again,” due for release on May 3.

Masse, 48, will also join him on stage when he closes out the Juno broadcast performing some of his biggest hits.

“There’s an empathy and an understanding that only another artist can relate to,” Hart said.

“We’re very simpatico together.”

The Juno Awards air Sunday on CBC-TV.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Public meeting being held on future of old Crofton Elementary School site

Cowichan Valley School District will hear proposals at information session May 30

Chemainus Secondary’s Bannister burns up the track for 100 and 200 metre wins

Competitors way behind in both junior girls races at the Island high school championships

North Cowichan council denies rezoning bid for cannabis outlet in Chemainus

Site on Chemainus Road deemed too close to spaces frequented by youth

Father’s anguish remains three years after son’s murder in Chemainus

Derek Descoteau remembered as a young man with such a great future ahead

North Cowichan rejects Chemainus pot store application

Considered too close to school, playgrounds

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Most Read