Singer Melanie Fiona is rooting for her longtime pal, a certain well-known rapper, to win Best New Artist Award at the
53rd Grammy Awards on Sunday night. "If I was looking in the crystal ball it would be
Drake!," she said Thursday night at the annual party for the Canadian Grammy nominees, which was organized by the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles. She added, "Either him or Justin Bieber because they are Canadian artists doing great things in America and bringing home that award would be kind of cool!" (If Bieber does win, you can expect squealing across international boundaries. Celebrity teen crushes have that affect.) (Drake and Bieber were no shows at the party – Drake was performing at a show while Bieber was promoting his new 3D concert film
Never Say Never.) Under a giant tent over the pool at the luxurious Hancock Park residence of the Consul-General, David Fransen, Fiona, 27, talked about who she’d crushed on when she was a teenager. "I’m an ’80s baby," she said, laughing, "I was in love with Jordan Knight and Joey McIntyre from New Kids On the Block. I used to pretend Joey McIntyre was my boyfriend and I’d make pretend dinner for him.I was obsessed." A Toronto native who now lives in Venice, Calif., Fiona was nominated for a Grammy last year for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (she lost to Beyonce) and again this year her work with John Legend, Common, and The Roots earned them a collective nod for Best Rap Collaboration. In the throng of guests that included Teenage Head’s Dave DesRoches, Grammy-nominated cellist Matt Haimovitz (who performed for the crowd), media, music industry insiders and politicians, we ran into classical guitarist Liona Boyd who beamed that she was back on tour – “I just want to be a role model for middle-aged women!” At the coffee bar we yakked with Kevin Churko, the co-writer and producer of Ozzy Osbourne’s Grammy nominated album
Considered one of the industry’s leading engineers/producers, Churko has worked with Shania Twain and Britney Spears but was humble about his work. The Moosejaw native had come in from his home in Las Vegas, with his wife, Kemnay. In all, 14 Canadian artists earned 23 Grammy nominations.
The Grammy’s air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday February 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global / CBS.