Born July 13, 1974, in Toronto, to parents who hailed from Guyana, South America, Deborah Cox showed musical talent as early as age three. By age 12 she was singing in television commercials. Attending Earl Haig Collegiate by day, she was escorted to talent competitions and auditions by her mom, and in the evening, was performing in nightclubs or writing music. She met Lascelles Stephens, who shared her love of music and supported her interest and wanted her to succeed. Although she repeatedly tried to have her music, heavily influenced by rhythm and blues, recorded under Canadian labels, her attempts failed. Like many before her, she headed to Los Angeles, with her producer and partner, Lascelles to seek her fortune.
Within a year, Cox was set to meet a key executive with Arista Records. He was so impressed with her unaccompanied performance that he signed her immediately. While her first album did well enough, her career began to soar with the 1998 release of her single "Nobody's Supposed to be Here" on her second album One Wish. The song was number one on the charts (Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks) for 14 weeks—a record that was not broken for almost 8 years.
Cox is often referred to as Canada's top R&B artist; she also has international accolades and broad ambition. In addition to her many albums, Cox has contributed her vocal talents to movie soundtracks, which have included Dr. Doolittle, Hotel Rwanda, and Akeelah and the Bee, and acted in films, including Love Come Down and Blood of a Champion. By 2008, Cox had started her own record label, Deco Recording Group. She released "Beautiful U R" to iTunes and Amazon.com, and it rose to the top 10 on the Canadian Radio Chart. In January 2009 it was certified gold for digitally downloaded music. In September 2009, in cooperation with Kelly Price and Tamia, Cox created the pro-social movement the Queen Project, which seeks to empower women through community service projects.
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