Laila Biali pulled off a big victory over her star-studded competition at this weekend’s Juno Awards in London, with her self-titled record claiming the title of vocal jazz album of the year.

The Toronto singer was up against albums by Diana Krall and Tony Bennett, Holly Cole and Diana Panton for the award, while also earning a second nomination in the same category for her role as the featured vocalist on Jodi Proznick’s Sun Songs.

In the Juno Awards’ other jazz sections, Robi Botos took home the Juno for jazz album of the year, solo, while Andy Milne & Dapp Theory won in the group category.

  • Vocal jazz album of the year: Laila Biali – Laila Biali
  • Jazz album of the year, solo: Robi Botos – Old Soul
  • Jazz album of the year, group: Andy Milne & Dapp Theory – The Seasons of Being
  • Blues album of the year: Colin James – Miles to Go
  • Adult contemporary album of the year: Michael Bublé – Love

“I am in shock. I’m so honoured to be here,” Biali said in her acceptance speech. “When I first started playing jazz way back when in high school, there was a lady by the name of Diana Krall and it was her music that I covered in a talent competition. And so I can’t tell you what it means to be nominated in the same category as Diana Krall, who really introduced me to jazz.”

It was Biali’s first Juno Award, after one previous nomination.

The album marked a new beginning for the vocalist, who returned to her roots to make an album that has jazz at its core but also contains plenty of crossover pop appeal. Laila Biali is comprised of mostly original songs, plus covers of songs by David Bowie, Randy Newman and  Coldplay.