Jaffray-raised country star, Dean Brody, has been named male artist of the year at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards on Sunday.
Brody opened the show in Saskatoon with an enthusiastic performance of his hit single “Canadian Girls” before a crowd of more than 11,000 people and ended the night by winning album of the year for his record “DIRT.”
It was the second year in a row the Smithers, B.C.-born singer won the CCMA for best album – last year he won for Trail in Life, this year for Dirt. Brody, now a Nova Scotia resident, thanked his wife and his band as he accepted the male artist award, recalling how his wife, Iris, missed being in the audience for last year’s win.
“She was back east cleaning the house we had to move into when we came from Nashville because I lost a record deal. I just want to thank you for sticking with me. I love you, thank you,” said Brody, who went on to record Dirt in Canada.
As he accepted the best album trophy, he spoke about how tough it had been to make that album and thanked fans for embracing it.
Growing up in Jaffray, Brody took his first job at age 15 at the sawmill. While it was tough, it only set the tone for what would become a much tougher gig down the line – his struggle to make a living as a singer/songwriter. After landing his first publishing deal in 2004, Brody headed to Nashville, but two years on, found himself back in Jaffray, back at the mill, and at a crossroads in his musical career.
A recording contract with Broken Bow Records led him south again for another five years and although his self-titled debut broke the top 25 in the U.S., the top 10 in Canada and garnered him a CCMA for Single of the Year, his partnership with the label was threatened by an ultimatum that Brody simply could not accept. He soon found himself looking for a new home in Canada for both his growing family and his music.
Brody is scheduled to play a Cranbrook show at the Key City Theatre on January 27, 2013.