Corey Hart has always hit above his weight. When he entered the music world in 1983, the 20-year-old immediately tapped into the decade’s zeitgeist with the synth-laden Sunglasses At Night and racked up countless awards and nominations. And after a hiatus to focus on his personal life, he’s proving he still has what it takes.
Poised to release his first full-length album in two decades, Hart will follow that up with a cross-country tour. And as a sign that his impact on Canadian music hasn’t wavered since he stepped out of the spotlight, he’ll be immortalized by an induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the 2019 JUNO Awards. While he’s no stranger to accolades – selling over 16 million albums worldwide and boasting nine US Billboard Top 40 hits – Hart says that this is an unparalleled honour.
“If you’re looking at awards, this is the highest, most prestigious acknowledgement from my peers that I could possibly receive,” he says from his home in the Bahamas. “If you’re lucky, this is once in a lifetime.”
Hart decided in 1998 to step away from his 15-year career to spend time with his family including fellow Canadian musician, Julie Masse. Together with their four children, they travelled the world to focus on his daughters’ tennis careers. Now that his children are all mostly grown, Hart saw the perfect opportunity to re-enter the music world.
“When I left 20 years ago, I never thought that I’d be able to come back, that the door would be open,” he says. “I honestly thought that that would be it.”
Thankfully for fans, music is in Hart’s DNA.
“The minute I got into the studio and the minute we started working, it all comes back to you.”
His first single, Dreaming Time Again, takes listeners along for Hart’s journey back into music. The video ends with Hart having a conversation with his youngest son, Rain, about how growing up without a father impacted him and influenced his decision to pull back and focus on family.
Tracks on the upcoming album are all freshly penned and performed, giving listeners new insight into the musician’s life.
His summer tour kicks off in St. John’s on May 31 (Hart’s birthday) to honour where he started his very first tour in 1985. Fans can expect classics like the ubiquitous Sunglasses At Night and Never Surrender, but Hart says fans can look forward to a few surprises that he’s remaining tight-lipped about.
And for those who want a deeper dive into Hart’s career, a new exhibition honouring him, in partnership with CARAS, will launch at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre in Calgary. Running March 22 until October, it captures the stories behind some of Hart’s biggest career breakthroughs and features memorable artifacts from the singer-songwriter’s past.
Watch Hart perform live and receive his induction into Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the 2019 JUNO Awards on Sunday, March 17.
Visit the NOW Digital Residency: JUNOS 2019