George CanyonView in iTunes
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Canadian country music singer George Canyon has established himself as a bit of a renaissance man. A native of Nova Scotia, Canyon initially tried his hand at a music career in the 1990s, recording a pair of solo albums before abandoning his aspirations to work as a bylaw officer and support his young family. In 2004, at the urging of his wife, he auditioned for the second season of the U.S.A. Network's talent competition Nashville Star, where he eventually landed runner-up. With his newly acquired international profile, he resumed his recording career, signing with Universal and releasing his third album, One Good Friend, which won him a 2005 Juno Award for Country Recording of the Year. The 2006 follow-up Somebody Wrote Love fared similarly, earning him another Juno and increasing his audience throughout North America. Prior to his musical endeavors, Canyon's first love was aviation, and as a young Air Cadet he dreamed of someday joining the Royal Air Force. It was a dream he would have to abandon when, at age 14, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Both aviation and his commitment to diabetes research came to play a role once he established himself as a music star. His philanthropic work supporting Canadian troops was recognized when the country's defense minister appointed him as honorary colonel of the the 14 Wing Greenwood air base, then later as the commandant of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Overcoming the adversity of his disease, Canyon finally earned his private pilot's license in 2009. He became a national spokesman for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and flew his own plane across Canada, giving concerts and visiting with children afflicted with the disease. His 2010 single "I Believe in Angels" became an official theme song of the JDRF in the U.S. and earned him a SOCAN Award the following year as one of the most played songs on Canadian country radio. His 2011 Richard Marx-produced record Better Be Home Soon was certified gold, and in addition to his musical and philanthropic endeavors Canyon began to establish an acting career, appearing on shows like Heartland and Trailer Park Boys. He was even named the official anthem singer of the Calgary Flames NHL team. He continues to tour North America and Europe and in 2014 released his first best-of collection, Decade of Hits. ~ Timothy Monger