With the look of a legendary cowboy and the build of a professional athlete, people who see him for the first time often ask “who is he?” If you were to pose that question to George Canyon himself, he’d immediately tell you that first and foremost he is a dedicated husband and a proud father of two. He also happens to be one of Canada’s biggest Country Music stars who has sold over 270,000 albums, a successful actor, an Honorary Colonel and an official spokesperson for a charity that is very close to his heart.
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, now living in Alberta, Canada, Canyon got his first taste of international fame and music industry attention being the only Canadian competing in USA Network’s second season of “Nashville Star” in 2004, an internationally televised performance competition similar to the “American Idol” format. Canyon wowed the worldwide audiences and nearly won the entire contest. That same year he released his debut album One Good Friend, which won him a Canadian Country Music Rising Star Award. The rest is history punctuated by industry accolades, achievements and sustained success.
For the past two years he has been recognized as the most played Canadian artist at Canadian country radio. He’s also one of the most recognizable and requested stars on CMT (Country Music Television). His videos garner hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube and he has won multiple Juno Awards (Canada’s Grammys) plus numerous Canadian Country Music Awards including the “Humanitarian of the Year Award” for his philanthropic endeavors.
But with the many awards and honors he has received, including the privilege of being made an Honorary Colonel for the Royal Canadian Air Force, if you ask George what his biggest achievement has been he’ll respond without hesitation that it has been his work with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes himself at age 14, Canyon has spent a great deal of time giving acoustic performances and inspirational talks to children with Type 1 diabetes and their families. He encourages these youngsters to pursue their dreams and gives advice on how to manage their disease, “If I can change a life or two and inspire a youngster to live a better life. That’s the kind of imprint I want to leave,” says Canyon, a man of faith, who has always known the importance of giving back. ( A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this album will be donated to JDRF.)
In early 2011 multi-platinum artist and pop/rock icon Richard Marx signed on to produce Canyon’s sixth and newest studio album Better Be Home Soon, released in March of this year. This was not the first time the two had worked together, as they had already joined forces for the critically acclaimed album What I Do in 2008. Better Be Home Soon contains toe-tapping and touching songs co-written by the likes of Marx, Matt Scannell, Johnny Reid and the great Kenny Rogers. “I was honored when Richard phoned me to say that he and Kenny Rogers had written a song especially for me.” Canyon says of the song “When Love Is All You’ve Got.”
But that’s not the only great track in Better Be Home Soon , which recently received a gold disc, making this the fastest selling album in George’s career. “We really went deep with the songwriting in this record. There are some great ballads, and also a lot of fun tracks. I think it’s important to achieve a balance on a record and take the listener through some peaks and valleys.”
With his successful albums, many awards and honors, unyielding support from fans all over the world and frequently sold-out shows, George Canyon will be the first one to say that he is blessed. And after 20 years doing what he loves doing, he is showing no signs of stopping.