Deborah Cox – Canada’s top R&B artist


Summer 2024

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Deborah Cox’s music has impacted people globally with some of her soul-lifting hits like “We Can’t Be Friends” and “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here.” Cox is an eight-time nominee of the Juno Award, and a four-time winner, and the first Black female to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Cox is partnering with the Heart & Stroke Foundation as an ambassador to raise awareness of women’s heart and brain health, after some women in her family underwent some life changing health issues. 

The Toronto-born-and-raised singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress began her career as early as 12 years old when she starred in television commercials. As a teenager she contested in various talent shows before transitioning into a professional vocalist backing up stars like Celine Dion. 

Cox released her self-titled debut album in 1995 after relocating to the US the previous year and signing up with Arista Records owned by the renowned record producer, Clive Davis. Three years later in 1998 her second studio album, One Wish was certified platinum in the United States. Remarkable for the single “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” which became a commercial success, earning her an entry on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and remained on the chart for eight consecutive weeks after peaking at number two. In 2002, her third studio album The Morning After was released after signing with J Records. The album, however, did not attain the commercial success of its predecessors.

In the dawn of 2000s, Cox began her acting career by starring in the Canadian film Love Come Down. She would later debut her stage appearance in Aida, a Broadway musical four years later in 2004. Since then, she has added to her credit several musical productions and smaller films including the musical adaptation of The Bodyguard, and the horror drama Jekyll & Hyde.

In the year 2007, Cox released her first studio album Destination Moon via her own independent record label Deco Recording Group. 

Ten years later, after her first independent studio album release, her single “Let the World Be Ours Tonight” hit the Billboard‘s Dance Club Songs and became her 13th number-one song over decades. Billboard listed Cox on its list of the Greatest of All Time Top Dance Club Artists, placing her at 23. Cox is often cited as Canada’s top R&B artist. 

Cox was one of the performers at the Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 in June 2019, an event to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots.

“Easy Way,” the single produced by Rico Love, was released in November 2019 through her label Deco Entertainment. The song was part of her then-yet-unreleased seventh studio album.

In February 2020, Cox portrayed a celebrity singer accused of killing her husband in the movie adaptation of the novel Influence written by Carl Weber. She started a web series titled COXtales with Deborah Cox during the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

In 2021, Cox played the role of a musician named Regina alongside Jill Scott and Michelle Buteau in the second season of the BET series First Wives Club. Later that year, she appeared in the HBO Max Station Eleven post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction miniseries as Wendy. She also collaborated with Israeli producer Offer Nissim and featured on “Summer of Love.” 

In 2022, Cox was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. She currently lives with her husband and manager, and their three children in Miami, Florida.

Chinenye Emezie | Assistant Editor

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