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Nigerian Canadian Debby Friday wins Polaris Music Prize for 'Good Luck'

Debby Friday performs at the Polaris Music Prize gala in Toronto, on Tuesday, September 19, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO — Debby Friday has won the 2023 Polaris Music Prize for her album “Good Luck.”

The debut full-length release from the Nigerian-born Canadian was selected for the $50,000 prize by an 11-member grand jury that named it best Canadian album of the year based on its artistic merit.

“Good Luck” finds Friday building on the industrial sounds of her earlier EPs with more soulful vocals.

Music critics have likened her album to artists as diverse as industrial metal band Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, rappers Run the Jewels and Beyoncé.

The Polaris Music Prize is considered one of the country's most prestigious music awards.

Previous winners include Pierre Kwenders, Haviah Mighty, Jeremy Dutcher and Kaytranada.

Friday thanked many of the people who helped her career and reflected on her childhood in a small village in Nigeria.

"This is something that I didn’t realize was a possibility," she said from the stage.

"Now I’m here today and it just feels like a miracle."

An eclectic group of Canadian musicians were up for this year's prize, including Feist, Aysanabee, the Sadies, Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Dan Mangan.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2023.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

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