Drake to host the Junos on CTV

After a banner year, the hip hop star will lead the ceremonies in Toronto in March.

CTV has snagged rising hip hop star Aubrey Graham, also known as Drake, to host the 2011 Juno Awards.

Graham, who got his start on CTV performing in Degrassi: The Next Generation before moving south to pursue a successful rap career, will emcee Canada’s music awards from Toronto on March 27, 2011, according to CTV and the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

The Toronto native performed at last year’s Junos in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and will compete against fellow Canadian music sensation Justin Bieber for the best new artist trophy at the upcoming Grammys.

The presence of Bieber and Drake helped last year’s Juno Awards boost its 18-to-34 demographic by 63% over the previous year, according to figures by BBM Canada. Attracting 1.6 million viewers, it was the most-watched Junos of the decade, and a 31% increase over the previous year.

Audience viewership peaked at 2.1 million during a surprise rap intervention by Drake as Bieber performed his song ‘Baby.’ The two-hour awards special was watched in all, or in part, by 6.5 million Canadians.

Broadcast sponsors for the 2011 awards haven’t been announced yet, but the event sponsors include FACTOR (the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings), the Radio Starmaker Fund, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the City of Toronto, Tourism Toronto and the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund.