New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Record producers are in many cases the stars of popular songs. They help create beats, write lyrics, hire singers and take part in shooting videos. It's no surprise many producers no longer want to stay behind the scenes while singers get all the fame.
They appear in music video they helped create, take part in the singing and sometimes even make live performances. Take Abel Makkonen Tesfaye-AKA the Weeknd-as an example. Born in Toronto in 1990, the record producer was the star of this year's Super Bowl half-time performance.
He's also the star behind two songs with over 1.5 billion views on YouTube each, providing further proof the modern producer is no longer limited to studio work. With that in mind, below is a list of some of the most influential record producers in Canada.
DeadMau5 is perfect description of the modern record producer. He records music, acts a DJ, performs and writes music. Born in Ontario in 1981 as Joel Thomas Zimmerman, DeadMau5 is the man behind such hits as "Strobe," "Ghosts n Stuff," "I Remember" and "Raise your Weapon."
As mentioned, DeadMau5 does more than produce good music. He also performs as a D.J. He also works with video games. He was a playable character in DJ Hero 2, Goat Simulator, and the mobile game: Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff.
Last year, the Niagara Falls-born producer got honored with a slot by leading casino software provider Microgaming. The arcade-style machine features five reels and a payout rate of 95.22%. While it's not the highest paying Microgaming slot out there, it's designed to payout up to 2100x your bet.
Born in 1942, Rene Angelil is a former music producer and the husband to Celine Dion. He discovered Dion while she was 12 years old. He then mortgaged his home to finance her first record album before going on to turn her into the superstar she became.
Rene produced Dion's megahit cum the Titanic's theme song, "My Heart will Go On," a record that went on to win the Grammy's song of the year. The producer also guided Dion to international stardom, helping her clinch the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988.
Next, the Rene and Dion duo recorded the official soundtrack of "Beauty and the Beast" in 1991. The song won an Academy award a year later. After the pair got married in 1995, they moved to Las Vegas. There, Dion continued to hold shows, while Rene, an avid gambler, enjoyed gaming at the casinos until he took his last breath in 2016.
As we mentioned earlier, the Weeknd is now more famous for his singing talent than his record production craft. In a recent interview with Variety, the Weeknd says his dream as a child was to be a movie star. But after he failed at acting, he settled for the next best thing: music.
With four No.1 hits on Billboard, two songs with over 1.5 billion views each a Super Bowl halftime performance, it's safe to safe the Weeknd is a superstar artist. He's also trilingual-he speaks Ethiopia's Amharic, French and English.
The Weeknd's most famous songs include "Starboy," a collaboration with Daft Punk that's nearly two billion views on YouTube. Then there's "The Hills," a solo song with 1.6 billion views. His other songs like "Call out MY Name," "Heartless" and "I Feel it Coming" have also surpassed over 100 million views each.
If you don't David Foster, are you even a fan of Canadian music? Born in 1949 in B.C., Foster is a 16-time Grammy Award winner and the producer behind famous songs by Michael Buble, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and Mary J Blige.
Foster is also a song writer, notable for penning down Houston's "I Have Nothing," Beyonce's "Standup for Love" and "I Will be There for You-a song sung by his fifth and current wife, Katharine McPhee. Besides music, Foster is a famous figure in Hollywood, a friend of the royals and has dined with several presidents and prime ministers.
Foster is also famous for his love for Christmas songs. His first popular Christmas song as "Once Upon a Christmas" by Kenny Rodgers and Dolly Parton. Then he produced Celine Dion's "These are Special Times," Michael Buble's "Christmas" and Mary J Blige's "A Mary Christmas."
Heavy rock music fans probably recognize the lead singer of the Strapping Young Land band. His name is Devin Garret Townsend, a music prodigy that started making headlines since his teenage days. He then created a band that made hits between 1994 and 2007.
After that, he dismantled the band to start his solo career. He's since produced and released 25 albums centered on progressive metal, hard rock and new-age rock. The beauty of Devin is that his work is all inspired by his personality and life experiences.
Some of his most successful tracks include Accelerated Evolution, Controller, Alien, Deliver Us and As the Palaces Burn. He's produced nearly all songs he's participated in, written some and acted as the lead singer in most of them.
Born in Saskatchewan in 1941, Buffy Sainte-Marie was the first indigenous person to ever win an Oscar award. She has worked with Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Joe Cocker, and Shirley Bassey, to name a few. She's also a social activist, an educator and a philanthropist.
Like most producers we've mentioned so far, Marie has never limited herself to record-work. Having taught herself to play piano as a child, the Canadian-American grew up dreaming to be an artist. This is a dream she later turned into a reality with songs like "Universal Soldier," "Up Where we Belong" and "The Circle Game."
As mentioned, Sainte-Marie is also an educator who created the "Cradleboard Teaching Project" to help better understand the lives of indigenous people. In her quest to improve the lives of her community, she's also been traveling around the US and Canada for years, often spreading love with her music while also donating to charities.