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From Gord Downie's wisdom to Shania Twain's comeback: your 20 favourite stories this year

By
Jennifer Van Evra

The 100 tracks with the greatest impact on 2017, from homegrown talent that made waves outside of Canada, and Canadian acts that influenced their respective genres. These are the songs that turned heads, rose up the charts, and drummed up buzz at home and beyond. Singles from pop, R&B, indie, country, singer-songwriter, hip-hop, and Indigenous artists selected by the CBC Music team. Hear: Drake 'Passionfruit', Feist 'Pleasure', Jess Moskaluke 'Drive Me Away', Daniel Caesar 'We Find Love' and more

There's no doubt that 2017 was a momentous year for music in Canada.

We saw new albums by Arcade Fire, Land of Talk, Drake, Broken Social Scene, Feist, Alvvays, Daniel Caesar and more. We saw outspoken Colombian-Canadian artist Lido Pimienta take the Polaris Music Prize, while the Juno album of the year went posthumously to Canadian legend Leonard Cohen.

Canadians also mourned the death of Gord Downie who, for three decades, helped create a soundtrack for the country.

So which articles were most popular among CBC Music readers? Perhaps it's no surprise that most were connected to Canadian music icons, and to the top Canadian songs, songwriters and bands past and present.

Check out the top 20 below.

20. 'Profound moments of my life happened while I was there': Geddy Lee remembers Quebec's Le Studio

The Rush frontman talks about his relationship with the legendary recording studio in the Laurentian Mountains, which burned down earlier this year.

19. Eminem's explosive new freestyle demands fans choose between him and Trump

Eminem performed a new freestyle at the BET Hip Hop Awards, aiming his four-and-a-half-minute verse at U.S. President Donald Trump.

Eminem releases "The Storm" freestyle referencing U.S. President Donald Trump.

18. Iqaluit's the Jerry Cans cover the Tragically Hip like you've never heard before

Listen to the Nunavut band cover "Ahead by a Century" entirely in Inuttitut, an Inuktitut dialect.

The Jerry Cans pose on the streets of Nunavut.

17. Anne Murray: 40 years of hustle and the making of a Canadian icon

On her 72nd birthday, we asked Anne Murray to look back on her greatest hits, biggest regret and 40 years of hustle as a woman in the music industry.

Famed Canadian singer Anne Murray in 1980.

16. By questioning Canada's past, Gord Downie fought for a better future

Gord Downie, a solo musician, actor, philanthropist, father and frontman for the Tragically Hip, died following his very public battle with brain cancer. He was just 53 years old.

Gord Downie

15. 25 best Canadian songwriters ever

Dallas Green, Coeur de pirate, Glen Hansard and more reflect on Canada's best songwriters.

14. 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30, 2017 edition

Meet the young Canadians burning up the classical music scene.

13. 'What tomorrow brings': the incredible untold story of how 'Wheat Kings' came to be

The Milgaard family's untold role behind the famous Hip song.

The Tragically Hip

12. 100 best Canadian songs

It may be an impossible task to accurately quantify the greatest, but we gave it our best: the 100 best Canadian albums ever.

11. 8 things you need to know before dating an organist

Of course they're sexy, but are they relationship material? Here are eight things you should know before you start leaving a toothbrush at an organist's place.

They can be control freaks.

10. Listen to Shania Twain's first new solo single in 13 years

"Life's About to Get Good" will throw you back to 2002.

Singer Shania Twain performs on the Toyota Mane Stage during Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival on April 29, 2017.

9. 100 best Canadian songs of 2017

These are the songs that turned heads, rose up the charts or drummed up buzz that you couldn't miss. Listen to all of them now.

A photo of rising R&B star Jessie Reyez

8. Decoding Gord Downie's final masterpiece

As a songwriter, Gord Downie wrote as many secret codes as he did break them. Now, in his end, Downie is a lighthouse calling us home.

Gord Downie for promotional use / CD packaging

7. The Signature Series

If you take the most famous melodies that have been composed in a specific musical key over the centuries, and mash them up together, you'll encounter certain characteristics — characteristics that can define your personality.

Which key are you?

Paolo Pietropaolo

6. 100 best Canadian bands

The 100 best Canadian bands ever, with defences from Father John Misty, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, Josh Groban and more.

Juno Award-winning electronic group A Tribe Called Red.

5. Hey Rosetta! parts ways, says goodbye with cover of 'Stand By Me' 

The St. John's band that's been carrying Canada's heart on its sleeve for more than a decade will be carrying it no more.

4. 26 Gord Downie quotes that will inspire you

"We want to bring good music to the people. That's what it's all about." — Gord Downie, 2012

The Tragically Hip

3. Watch k.d. lang's unforgettable cover of Neil Young's 'Helpless'

There wasn't a dry eye in the house after this performance.

K.d. lang performs Neil Young's 'Helpless' at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

2. Here are your 20 favourite Canadian songs

We asked you to share your favourite Canadian songs of all time and we turned it into this epic Canada Day playlist.

Sarah McLachlan performs on stage.

1. The real reason musicians are dropping out of music schools

Hint: it's not the lack of job prospects, stringent ear-training requirements or drugs.

A student violinist practises on campus.