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From Dive Bars to Arena Stages, Nickelback Is Inducted Into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Nickelback’s induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at Monday’s Juno Awards called for a local hero — and who better to introduce the honorees than Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid. “The LeBron of hockey,” as Junos host Simu Liu called the athlete, is currently regarded as the NHL’s best player. In Edmonton, not far from the tiny town of Hanna, Alberta (where a sign welcoming visitors reads, “Proud to be the home of Nickelback”), the rock band is equally respected. To wit: an introduction by Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds kicked off an 11-minute segment chronicling their start as a cover band to global rock act with sales of over 50 million albums.

“They played a show here a number of years ago and I met them backstage and ended up having a really good time together,” McDavid — who is from Toronto and joined the Oilers in 2015 — tells Variety. “I think there’s always a mutual respect for athletes to musicians and musicians to athletes, and we definitely bonded over that.”

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Nickelback, known for such ubiquitous hits as “How You Remind Me,” “Photograph,” “Someday” and “Rockstar” — which have amassed over 10 billion collective streams — released its 10th studio album, “Get Rollin’,” back in November.

The band has 12 Juno Awards, nine Grammy nominations, three American Music Awards and were inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2007. The Canadian Music Hall of Fame is the country’s biggest music honor.

“Before we say anything, how badass is it to be in Edmonton and have the best hockey player in the world right now give that award to us?” said singer-guitarist Chad Kroeger as soon as he got on the Juno stage with his brother, bassist Mike Kroeger; guitarist Ryan Peake; drummer Daniel Adair and previous drummer Ryan Vikedal.

Then with the clock ticking, he said, “So they induct you into the Canadian [Music] Hall of Fame and they gave us 120 seconds to talk. I’m not kidding. Two minutes; they’re like two minutes. I’ll do this really fast. Here we go.”

The frontman started by thanking his parents “for giving birth to half the band,” then moved on to the key industry players and members of their team who helped Nickelback go from their early days with 1996’s “Hesher” EP and subsequent albums “Curb,” “The State” and “Silver Side Up” to the 11th best-selling music act of all time. The others guys then got a chance to thank their parents, wives and kids.

“That was a stressful,” Peake later tells Variety of the time limit.

Adds Chad: “The producer of the show came over afterwards and she was like, ‘By the way, I gave you more time.’ I’m like, “Well, you didn’t tell any of us. Well, thanks.’ Got the parents in quickly. It’s just as fast as you can because there’s so many people to thank. We could be up there for 10 minutes to thank all the people.”

Their invited guest list was a tight-knit group. Absent was the Mayor of Hanna or a childhood music teacher.  “We had three tables and it was all friends and family and people who had helped us,” Chad says. “It was nothing but just a huge support group right there in those front three tables. And that’s what you want there.”

The two-hour Juno Awards also began with “a bit” showing Liu giving Chad a manicure and the rest of the band enjoying spa treatments, then Liu sang a parody of “Photograph” on guitar. Nickelback capped the night by performing a medley of their songs.

It’s been an exciting build up to Nickelback’s induction, which is accompanied by a year-long exhibit at Calgary’s Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre — Canada’s equivalent of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum — which opened March 9 and runs until February 2024.

“I’ve not seen the exhibit,” said Chad.

“We sent T-shirts and guitars and photos,” added Peake.

“I don’t think we sent anything funny,” said Mike. “It’s nostalgic.”

“We’ve got disco ball guitars. That’s pretty ridiculous,” Peake remembered.

Nickelback kicks off its world tour in North America in June.

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