Junos not naming replacement nominees after Hedley withdraws from 3 categories

Junos not naming replacement nominees after Hedley withdraws from 3 categories

The Juno Awards will not be naming replacement nominees now that embattled rockers Hedley have withdrawn from consideration for group of the year, pop album of the year and the fan choice prize.

The Vancouver pop-rockers said they did not "wish to be a distraction at Canadian music's biggest night" as they continue to face sexual misconduct allegations posted by anonymous social media users.

The band — which has a total of 31 Juno nominations dating back to 2006 and two wins — said in a statement Monday that it was soldiering on with its cross-Canada tour but preparing "to take responsibility and talk about how we have let some people down and what we intend to do about it."

The band's members previously called allegations involving young fans "unsubstantiated" but acknowledged they "engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock 'n' roll cliches."

The Junos said in a statement released Tuesday that no alternates would be added to the categories affected by Hedley's withdrawal because voting began Feb. 9.

A spokeswoman for the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences said no one from the organization was available for an interview. She said votes already registered for Hedley will be thrown out, but voters will not be asked to submit a new ballot.

It was last Wednesday that Hedley first responded to the allegations that had been posted online. By Friday, the group was dropped by its management team, blacklisted by scores of radio stations, and abandoned by the bands who were booked as its tour openers.

In a statement released Monday, the band said it wouldn't be cancelling the shows it has booked through March 23 because "the easy thing to do would be to cancel the tour and hide."

"We want to ensure that everyone understands our collective commitment to change, and to do better, is real. Saying a rock 'n' roll lifestyle was to blame — or saying certain things happened because we were younger — isn't good enough. We owe it to our families, our crew, our friends — and most of all, our fans — to do and be better," the statement reads, adding that the band will be saying more "in the coming days."

The former MuchMusic darlings — fronted by Jacob Hoggard and including Dave Rosin, Tommy Mac and Jay Benison — played in Barrie, Ont., on Monday and were scheduled to hit Ottawa on Tuesday, Laval, Que., on Wednesday, Halifax on Friday and Summerside, P.E.I., on Saturday.

According a video posted to YouTube on Sunday and purportedly shot at Hedley's concert Friday night in Brandon, Man., Hoggard thanked the crowd for "believing in us."

"Thank you for sticking with us through the good times and the bad, the ups and downs, the highs and the lows, you've been there and that's the only reason why we're still here," Hoggard said, although he did not reference the allegations the band faces.

"Thank you for your support, thank you for your love, we need it and it means the world to us."

This year's Junos show is to be staged in Vancouver on March 25. Crooner Michael Buble will host.

Michael Oliveira, The Canadian Press