Burton Cummings has the tremendous distinction of being the first recording artist inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame twice - first as lead singer and songwriter with the influential rock band The Guess Who in 2001, and again this year as a solo artist who is still going strong after more than 40 years.
Starting with his 1976 self-titled debut, right through to 2008's Above the Ground, Cummings' talents and uneclipsed body of work have led to countless Canadian and international music awards. And he continues to challenge himself, all while maintaining the strong ties to Canada and Manitoba that have so informed his life. Songs such as "Stand Tall," "Clap for the Wolfman," "My Own Way to Rock," "You Saved My Soul" and "Break It to Them Gently" on his 10 solo albums all bear Burton's distinctive stamp. He is, in many ways, the voice of Canada.
Cummings is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame and the Prairie Music Hall of Fame. He is a six-time JUNO Award-winner, received a Genie Award for a short stint with acting for the 1982 film Melanie, and has won 22 SOCAN Awards and several broadcast music industry awards for over one-million airplays of his songs.
It doesn't stop there. He is also a recipient of the Order of Manitoba, the Governor General's Performing Arts Award and the Order of Canada. Conclusion? Burton Cummings is one of the most celebrated rock artists in Canadian music history.
Cummings had the first U.S. platinum album by a Canadian artist with The Guess Who, and on his own he had the first quadruple-platinum Canadian-produced album. Altogether, he has earned some 80 platinum and gold record awardsso many they have actually lost track. The critically acclaimed Above the Ground was his first album to feature all original songs without co-writers. As certified Canadian rock-music royalty, Cummings remains at the top of his game, continuing to tour and perform for sold-out crowds.
Last year, Cummings was a surprise guest at the Canada's Walk of Fame Inductee Charity Ball, eliciting immediate cheers from the attendees, who were on their feet in a matter of seconds. He has that innate ability to draw an audience in, mesmerizing all within hearing distance.
Recently, Cummings has been an active online social networker, maintaining a busy blogging and Twitter presence. Many of his tweets bear a distinctive, old-fashioned poetic lilt that is evident in his poetry, a book of which (The Writings of B.L. Cummings) is in the works. He has also just finished his first solo tour in a decade, playing to diehard fans across Canada and the United States.
It appears certain that Cummings has truly found his "own way to rock."
He earned the first US platinum album by a Canadian artist with the Guess Who, and on his own, the first quadruple platinum Canadian-produced album. Altogether Burton has earned some 80 platinum and gold record awards.