Deborah Cox Biography
Deborah Cox is a Canadian R&B singer-songwriter and actress born July 13, 1974. Her 1998 song “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” held the record for longest-running number one single on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart (14 weeks), a record held for nearly eight years. She has achieved 13 number-one hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart.
She is often cited as Canada’s top R&B artist. Deborah Cox was born in Toronto to parents of Afro-Guyanese descent, grew up in Scarborough, Toronto and attended John XXIII Catholic Elementary School and Earl Haig Secondary School. She began singing on TV commercials at age 12, and entered various talent shows including an appearance on Tiny Talent Time. She performed in nightclubs as a teenager, and began to write music around the same time. Cox entered the music industry in the early 1990s, performing as a backup vocalist for Celine Dion for six months. After receiving many rejection letters from Canadian record labels that claimed their “quota” had been reached, Cox moved to Los Angeles in 1994 with producer and songwriting partner, Lascelles Stephens.
Deborah Cox Songs
- Absolutely Not
- Call Me
- Couldn’t We
- I Won’t Give Up
- I’m Your Natural Woman
- It’s Over Now (all Star Remix)
- Just A Dance
- Just Be Good To Me
- Just When I Think I’m Over You
- Love Is On The Way
- One Day You Will
- Something Happened On My Way To Heaven
- The Sound Of My Tears
- Things Just Ain’t The Same
- We Can’t Be Friends
Deborah Cox Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here
Deborah Cox The Bodyguard
In the case of “The Bodyguard,” which runs Jan. 16-28 at the Fisher Theatre, the bar is especially high. The musical, after all, is based upon the 1992 Whitney Houston-Kevin Costner film, and the songs the lead character sings were chosen to showcase Houston’s amazing, octave-spanning range.
But Deborah Cox is up for it. The 43-year-old singer/actress brings her own remarkable vocal gifts to such numbers as “I Will Always Love You,” “Queen of the Night,” “How Will I Know,” “One Moment in Time” and “Run to You.”
Cox’s voice has a similar vocal timbre to Houston’s, but she also has the advantage of a steady personal life. The Toronto native is still married to her high school sweetheart/personal manager Laschelles Stephens (they have three children), and a dogged work ethic has enabled her to stay focused and healthy despite the demands of a touring musical.
“What’s been good about the (Bodyguard) schedule the second time around is, we had a few weeks off, and so going into the third leg of the tour, we have a few more breaks,” said Cox during a telephone interview. “The breaks help me to maintain good health while we’re still touring.”
“The Bodyguard” is the story of a famous singer — Rachel Marron — and her relationship with Frank Farmer, a bodyguard hired to protect her after she has trouble with a stalker. Farmer and Marron clash over the need for her to be more careful, but they also develop a romantic relationship despite that. Farmer is warned by his bosses that the relationship is unprofessional, and he breaks it off. Drama, of course, ensues. Marron’s sister, Nicki, plays an important role in the romantic drama, as does Marron’s young son, Fletcher.
Her role in “The Bodyguard” was a star-making vehicle for Houston, vaulting her into superstardom almost instantly, helped by her palpable on-screen chemistry with Costner, who played Farmer. But if anyone was born to take the role of Marron onto the musical stage, it’s Cox.
As a young performer, she was inspired by Houston, and like her, was signed to Arista Records by Clive Davis (Davis even alerted Cox that “The Bodyguard” was becoming a musical, and she should go for it).
As a recording artist, Cox racked up R&B hits, including “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” in 1998. But unlike Houston, she also had a history in musical theater from a young age. Before she was a recording artist, Cox was performing in “The Wizard of Oz” and “Mama, I Want to Sing!”
Thus, she approached the role of Rachel as a dramatic actress and was determined, despite her ability to sound like Houston, not to rely on that as a gimmick.
“That was the challenge, trying to figure out what Rachel’s voice was going to be,” Cox said. “I wanted to make sure that I did not try to recreate or become a caricature of what the film was, that was not my intent at all. Now that I’ve gotten to do the show so many times, I found Rachel’s voice. I found her personality and who she is.”
The film differs from the stage version in some ways. The character of Nicki, Rachel’s sister, is more front and center, as is a romantic triangle involving the two sisters and Farmer. The fact that the story is told through song changes the dynamic considerably.
“I had to make sure it wasn’t me as a recording artist (singing), but me finding Rachel’s voice and telling her story and her true feelings, how she felt about Frank and how she feels about Fletcher, and being a mother, and his protector, and letting her guard down,” Cox said. “All the stories have to be told through song.”
The actress describes the stage production as “more of a romantic thriller,” too.
“There are a lot of moments where you’re at the edge of your seat, and the stalker is more prevalent than in the film,” she said.
Deborah Cox Albums
- 1995: Deborah Cox
- 1998: One Wish
- 2002: The Morning After
- 2007: Destination Moon
- 2008: The Promise
- 2017: I Will Always Love You – EP
- 2017: Work of Art
Deborah Cox Age
Deborah Cox is a Canadian R&B singer-songwriter and actress born July 13, 1974.
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Deborah Cox Whitney Houston
“Same Script, Different Cast” is a song performed as a duet by American and Canadian R&B singers Whitney Houston and Deborah Cox. Released as a single in 2000, the song features Houston playing the former lover of Cox’s current boyfriend. Houston warns Cox of his hurtful ways, though Cox refuses to acknowledge it.
The song incorporates a backing track of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Für Elise during the intro. The song was released as a radio-only promo single and hence no video was made. It was a minor hit on Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 70 while reaching number 14 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song was also very successful on Hot Dance Club Play, peaking at number 4.