Jully Black (born Jullyann Inderia Gordon Black) is a Canadian singer, songwriter and actress. A true Canadian icon, Black is known globally as Canada’s Queen of R&B. She also has the honour of being named one of “The 25 Greatest Canadian Singers Ever.”
Warner/Chappell discovered Black at the age of 19 and signed her to their label. Universal Music Canada would later follow suit. This deal would propel her career into several award nominations and collaborations with other well-known global artists, including Destiny’s Child, Kanye West, Celine Dion, Drake, Keshia Chante’, Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, and Elton John, just to name a few.
Her career recorded magnificent growth, which saw her become a platinum selling recording artist with many of her singles reaching the top music charts including Top 10 pop, Top 40 Canadian, dance music, and R&B charts, with hits Rally’n, and singles “Between Me and U,” and “You Changed.” Another chart-topping single “Dissin Us” won the Best R&B/Soul video at the MuchMusic Video Award in the year 2000.
Black’s presence in the Canadian media and entertainment industry continued with her being a host and correspondent of several CTV’s shows including etalk, the sixth season of Canadian Idol, and the Canadian Radio Music Awards. She would go on to interview global icons like former President Bill Clinton, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, and superstar Jay-Z.
In 2012, Black’s song “Set It Off” featuring Kardinal Offishall was nominated for the ‘Best R&B/Soul Recording’ at The Juno Award. In the same year during Jamaica’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebration, Black opened for Celine Dion at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival.
Black debuted her acting career by playing the Preacher in the critically successful theatre production ” Da Kink in My Hair” in Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre. She also performed the opening theme of the TV series version, and appeared on two episodes.
In recent years, Black continues to expand her repertoire in theatre, musical, and television, including her starring role in the critically acclaimed musical theatre production ‘Caroline, Or Change’ in February 2020.
By June of the same year, she won the award for Best Lead Performance in a Musical at the Toronto Theatre Critics Award, and The Dora Mavor Moore Award (the ‘Dora’)–of Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role, Musical Theatre, category for her role in ‘Caroline, Or Change’—an award recognising excellence in professional theatre, dance and opera in Toronto, organized by The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts.
Black was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2021 (PILLARS OF EXCELLENCE – Arts & Entertainment)
In September 2022, Black released three new singles from her critically-acclaimed, long-awaited autobiographical full album ‘Three Rocks and a Slingshot.’ The singles contain collaborations with multi talented and stellar producers and songwriters, Luther Brown Jr., KickRaux, and Alexander Jr.
Black’s rendition of the Canadian national anthem in 2023 at the NBA All-Star Game, where she changed the lyrics from “our home and native land” to “our home on native land” to honour the Indigenous groups of Canada, earned her a recognition by the Assembly of First nations.
Black is passionate about philanthropy and her causes have taken her across provinces in Canada, and impoverished communities in South Africa and Bangladesh. She also uses her platform to champion faith-inspired causes that celebrate people’s greatness through self awareness initiatives.
With many more projects in the pipeline, Black is certainly doing it all! And like she would say, “Jully Black is everyone, and unlike anyone!!”
Gladys Christian | Staff Writer