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FEATURE - DEBORAH COX

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DEBORAH COX

A ‘WORK OF ART’ AND SO MUCH MORE

Story by CLORISSA WRIGHT

EVEN THOUGH she has the credentials to act like one and the vocal chords to rival living and posthumous legends, Deborah Cox is anything but a diva. The Canadian born singer made the United States her home when she was 19 years old, and has maintained it as such.

While signed to the titan Arista label, she released her debut, self-titled album Deborah Cox and One Wish. Her songs were also picked up for soundtracks including the popular films, Money Talks and Dr. Doolittle 2.

“I moved here to search of a dream. To think about where I am right now, my place in life says it all. Going for it is essentially the most successful part of my journey. I didn’t know anyone here and all I had was drive. I did not have a plan B.”

Early on, the reality hit that being a good songwriter is a gift and a curse—Deborah admits that she has experienced turmoil associated with writing songs that her label forced her to give to other artists. We are not talking B-side songs; we are talking about songs that contributed to essentially putting other artists on the proverbial map. Although Heather Headley made, “Always Been Your Girl” popular and early on in their career, we heard “Crazy Kind of Love” from Destiny’s Child—none other than the one and only Deborah Cox conceptualized and wrote the emotion-provoking lyrics.

In an industry, that rots some people to the core— where people act as if they’ve arrived before they’ve displayed any real talent, this songbird has held her footing through industry fluff and is now stronger than ever. To most of the world, Deborah Cox is known as a songstress who burst onto the burgeoning American music scene in the 90s. Penning and performing songs like, “How Did You Get Here” and “We Can’t Be Friends”, this made her a household name and sealed the envelope of approval on her artistry. Because she had previous stage experience from high school (and through her younger days in plays like Oliver, The Wizard of Oz and Mama I Want to Sing) and was an established background vocalist and jingle singer, she was fearless. She moved to Los Angeles and hustled until what she wanted came to fruition. After months of being in the trenches doing session work, demos and everything musically in between, Arista records founder, Clive Davis signed her to a recording deal. That changed everything for the young, eager artist—her hustle began to pay off.

“There have been a lot of songs that I’ve written that ended up with other artists. Early in my career, I would put up a real fight to keep my songs for myself. As a singer, writer and artist, these come from my soul and to hear a committee of A&R people telling me that the songs were not for me was a strange feeling. Even though it’s tough, I did learn that sometimes to me, a song is an expression and to artists it’s their next hit. I really had to separate myself from the business.”

URBANLUX

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Profile for Urban Lux Magazine

URBAN LUX MAGAZINE - THE 2015 LUX LIST ISSUE  

Deborah Cox graces our LUX LIST cover as we prepare to bring the year to a close and celebrate once again a prestigious ensemble of leaders...

URBAN LUX MAGAZINE - THE 2015 LUX LIST ISSUE  

Deborah Cox graces our LUX LIST cover as we prepare to bring the year to a close and celebrate once again a prestigious ensemble of leaders...

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