Our Top 10 Deborah Cox Songs list takes a look at a Canadian singer, songwriter and actress. Deborah Cox is a singer known for her powerful vocals. She’s also known for having similar vocals to Whitney Houston. She’s one of Canada’s top r&b artists. She sings r&b and dance music. She started her career singing r&b songs, but it was the remixes to her tracks that made her a household name. Some of her hits include “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” “We Can’t Be Friends,” “Things Just Ain’t the Same,’ “Who Do You Love,” “Absolutely Not,” “Mr. Lonely,” “We Can’t Be Friends” as well as other songs.
Deborah Cox is a Grammy Award winner. She is also a Juno winner. She was nominated eight times for Juno Awards and won four of them. She has a Soul Train award. In addition to singing, she appeared in movies. She starred in Love Come Down (2000), Blood of a Champion (2005), Love on Layaway (2005), A Good Man Is Hard to Find (2008), Influence (2020). Deborah Cox appeared on Broadway. She starred in the musical Aida in 2004.
Deborah Cox was born July 13, 1974. She got her start in the entertainment business by singing in TV commercials. She performed in nightclubs as a teenager. She started writing music when she was a teenager. Deborah Cox got her big break when she was hired to sing back up for Celine Dion. Record labels rejected Deborah Cox until she met with Clive Davis. He would change her life forever.
She released her eponymous album in 1995. The album peaked at number 25 on the r&b charts and 102 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the singles “Sentimental,” “Who Do U Love,” “Where Do We Go from Here,” “Just Be Good 2 Me” “My First Night With You,” “The Sound of My Tears” and “It Could Have Been You.” The album sold over 500,000 copies. Deborah Cox had a pretty good debut album, but she would go on to have even more success with the follow up album One Wish. The album came out in 1998. The album peaked at number 14 on the r&b charts and number 72 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Things Just Ain’t the Same,” “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” “It’s Over Now” and “We Can’t Be Friends.” The album sold over one million copies.
The Morning After was released in 2002. The album peaked at number seven on the r&b charts and number 38 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the sons “Up & Down (In & Out),” “Mr. Lonely,” “Play Your Part” and “The Morning after.” The album sold over one million copies. Destination Moon was released in 2007. It’s a concept album and a tribute to jazz singer Dinah Washington. It peaked at number 24 on the r&b charts and number 175 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “What a Difference a Day Makes,” “This Bitter Earth,” “Squeeze Me,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and “September in the Rain.” The Promise was released in 2008. It peaked at number 14 on the r&b charts and 106 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the singles “Did You Ever Love Me,” “You Know Where My Heart Is,” “Saying Goodbye” and “Beautiful U R.”
Deborah Cox is an underrated singer. She is extremely talented, but is often overlooked by the industry. Her voice is similar to Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton. She was able to achieve success in two different genres of music. She isn’t just an r&b singer. She is a dance princess. She had to compete with other r&b divas like Toni Braxton, Tamia, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey, and Mary J. Blige but she managed to make a name for herself. Our Top 10 Deborah Cox Songs list will feature her best songs.
# 10 – Who Do U Love
The first song on our Top 10 Deborah Cox Songs list is “Who Do U Love” from her self-titled album. The song has an r&b sound. The confrontational song is about a woman who confronts her boyfriend about being unfaithful to her. She demands to know who he really loves if he doesn’t love her. This track is from her groundbreaking debut album. The anthem had women chanting this question to their men when it was released. The song has a relatable message for anyone who doubts whether their significant other loves them or someone else.
The song isn’t just relatable to women. Men can relate to the song as well. They also have to deal with women who can’t decide who they want. The music for the song is laid back and cool. It contains a sample from “Hold You Tight” by Tara Kemp. If you listen closely, you will notice the sample. Deborah Cox’s beat is a slowed down version of the r&b classic. “Who Do U Love” has a 90s beat, but it doesn’t sound dated. It will have you moving around in your seat. It’s the perfect summer song. Deborah Cox’s vocals are impressive. She sang the mid tempo jam as if it were a ballad. She poured her heart out on the track. She was channeling her inner Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton. She switched up her vocal key throughout the song. She held a note at the end which gave the song flavor.
# 9 – Sentimental
The next song on our Top 10 Deborah Cox Songs list is “Sentimental” also from her self-titled album. The track has an r&b sound to it. The reminiscent song is about her thinking about a former lover and getting emotional about it. She didn’t take his love seriously while she was with him and now she wants him back in her life. This story is usually told from a man’s point of view.
It was a nice change of pace to hear the story being told from a woman’s perspective. Women don’t tend to sing songs like this one. They may regret losing love, but they don’t admit that they are going crazy without the men in their lives. The lyrics sound sincere and “sentimental.” The beat of this track is smooth and gives off a cool vibe. It sounds like something you could hear on a lazy day. It’s perfect when you want to chill out with your friends. The drumbeat drives the song. The keyboard and bass give the song the extra flavor it needs to be complete.
This track is the song that put Deborah Cox on the map. It’s her first single from her debut album. She sings the song as if she were in the business longer. You could easily forget that she was a new artist when this song was released. She sounds similar to Monica, Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton on the track. She does a lot of runs and vibrato on the song. She holds little notes towards the end of the track that were decent. She could have pushed a little harder to hold them longer, but it doesn’t hurt the song.
# 8 – Things Just Ain’t the Same
The compelling song is from The Money Talks album. The track has an r&b beat. The therapeutic song is about a love that’s lost, but not forgotten. She thinks about the times she was with her man and feels that the next guy will never be like the one she lost. She expresses how much she misses the man she loves. It’s hard for her to move on with a new man because she’s stuck on the old man.
She’s giving us a peek into her personal diary. The lyrics are written as if they were an entry from her journal. People who have tried to move on from an old love can understand the pain she’s going through in the song. It can be hard to move on from someone who meant so much to you. The music contains a sample of The Stylistics’ song “You Are Everything.” The classic r&b jam was the perfect sample for the song. The chorus of “You Are Everything” is infectious so it’s not a surprise that it’s featured on another song.
Mary J. Blige also used this sample for her song “Everything.” There’s something about that classic jam that can make any song sound good. Deborah Cox’s version of the sample has more tempo than the original song. It gives you a chance to bop your head to the ballad. Deborah Cox gets emotional while she’s singing the track. She sounds pretty and angelic. She has excellent phrasing on this track. She sings in time with the beat. She and the background singers harmonize well once they get to the chorus of the song. She released a remix to this song. It was a bigger dance hit than an r&b hit. It helped propel her career as a princess of dance music. The dance version may have been a bigger hit, but the ballad is a better version of it. It’s definitely worth a listen.
# 7 – Hurts So Much
The drama-filled song is from her album The Morning After. It has an r&b sound. The heartfelt song is about a relationship that is painful. She expresses how much it hurt to be with the man she loves. She talks about how hard it was to be with him, but she also says she can’t let him go. The lyrics basically contradict themselves. She seems like she wants to move on, but she would rather be in love than be alone. It sounds like she’s describing a volatile relationship, but she can’t let go of it. The relationship sounds like a bad one, but she doesn’t care what people think about it.
It may be confusing to get what she’s trying to say in the song, but people are torn that way. Some people refuse to give up on a relationship even if it’s toxic. The message is similar to Destiny’s Child’s song “Girl.” They talk about a woman being in an abusive relationship, but she doesn’t want to leave.
Deborah Cox seems to be conveying the same type of message. The music to this ballad is breathtaking. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis wrote this song as a “woman’s anthem”, but men can relate to this track as well. They created a different sound for Deborah Cox on this track. They are known for writing r&b and pop tracks. They brought out the best in her. She really blows on this song. She turns the song into a power ballad. She soars to the mountaintops towards the end of the song. She holds nothing back and that’s a great thing. She shows the world what she can do with her instrument. There are some tracks that she’s recorded where she holds back, but she didn’t do that with this song. This underrated track should have been a hit for the artist because it’s flawless.
# 6 – Play Your Part
The metaphoric song is from The Morning After album. The song has a r&b sound. The bitter song is about a woman who is dealing with a bad relationship. She wants him to pretend to be the man she fell in love with years ago. She wants the life should have had with him. People talk about bad relationships all of the time, but she managed to have a fresh perspective on it. She compared love to a part in a play or in a movie. It was a different approach to a subject that has been discussed over again in many songs. This is the type of song that will make you think.
The r&b anthem will have women going crazy. They will be thinking about the same thing while they listen to her story. They will be wishing they could have their relationships the way they should have. Men might not enjoy this track because they aren’t painted in a good light. This track is strictly for women. It’s ironic that a man helped write this track. The melody is similar to her other track “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here.”
The music is tender and sweet considering the theme is an angry one. The keyboard and drums sell the music. The music builds up to a crescendo and it compliments her big and powerful voice very well. She sings the song softly when it begins and vocally explodes towards the end of it. She goes up and down throughout the song. When she gets to the bridge, she takes off like she’s in a vocal marathon. This track shows the world just how talented Deborah Cox is. She’s the Canadian Whitney Houston.
# 5 – My First Night With You
The next song on our Top 10 Deborah Cox Songs list is “My First Night With You” from her self-titled album. The romantic song is about being with her man for the first time. The tender ballad describes the first night they were together. This is one of the few love songs on our list where doesn’t talk about a bad relationship. Most of the tracks on our Top 10 Deborah Cox Songs list are about her troubled relationships. She proved she could sing a song about a positive relationship that has the same impact as one of her anthems.
She couldn’t go wrong by having Babyface and Diane Warren write a track for her. They are excellent songwriters and know how to bring out the best in a singer. They have written for similar artists so it made sense they got the chance to write a song together. They’ve worked together with other artists as well as Deborah Cox. With that said, they hit a home run with this song. Everything about this song works. The music is brilliant and has that classic Babyface sound. The song is keyboard friendly as most of his songs from the 90s were.
Diane Warren’s songs have a similar style. She also likes to write power ballads. Deborah Cox delivered on that. She turned this song into a power ballad. You could forget this song was on her debut album. She sounds as if she were singing forever. Mya went on to remake this track. It probably wasn’t a good idea because Deborah Cox put her heart and soul on the track.
# 4 – You Know Where My Heart Is
The loyal song is from The Promise album. The song has an r&b sound. The soulful song is about a woman who is determined to stand by her man regardless of what happens in life. She wants to be the Bonnie to his Clyde. It’s refreshing to hear her sing a song like this one because she’s outside of her wheelhouse. She mostly sings anthems so this gives her a chance to take a break from it. Deborah Cox had released several albums at the time this song was released. She was becoming known for her dance tracks instead of her ballads. She started remixing her ballads and gained a new audience. She went back to her roots with this song.
She returned to singing ballads. She didn’t lose her touch. Her voice shows that she’s matured as an artist. She sings this song in a deeper pitch from the other tracks on our list. She still has the soul in her voice, but she tried a different approach. She showed versatility on the track. She holds notes in the song, but she does hold back. She belts in the song, but she doesn’t turn it into a power ballad. The music is soft so she didn’t really need to turn it into a power ballad. The background singers do a great job of supporting her. The title of the song is a little long, but it doesn’t hurt the track in any way.
# 3 – The Morning After
The sensual song is from the album of the same name. The song has an r&b sound. The passionate song is about what happens when you give in to temptation. The track lets you know that actions done during the heat of passion could have a lasting effect. She talks about what happens the “morning after” a night of passion. The song is sultry and lustful. It’s perfect bedroom music. She doesn’t sing too many sensual ballads so this was a nice change. It sounds like a song Janet Jackson would have recorded for the Janet album.
Deborah Cox wrote this sexy song for her husband. The music grabs you as soon as the keyboard gets started. The music is sexy and hot. If you are in a sexy mood, you should put this jam on the radio. The musicians do an excellent job. They created quite a masterpiece. Deborah Cox gives the song her all. She sings the song as if it were about someone in her life. She does her signature vibrato throughout the song. She sings the song in a higher key than normal.
She starts the song softly and goes up in the show stopping conclusion. She turns the song into a power ballad. She gives the bridge a build up and she doesn’t disappoint. If you were anticipating a big finale, you won’t be disappointed. She vocally soars towards the end of the song. This track is definitely worth a listen. You will want to keep this song on repeat so you can hear it over again.
# 2 – We Can’t Be Friends ft. RL
The emotional song is from the One Wish album. It has an r&b sound. The confessional song is about a couple who love each other but decide to move on. They realize they can’t be friends anymore because they still love each other. The lyrics play out like something from a movie. They try to deny how they feel about each other and realize they can’t be friends anymore. This is the only duet on our list. She doesn’t sing too many duets so it was a nice change to hear her share the spotlight with another artist. Next’s RL is the guest vocalist on the song.
They take turns telling the story about their relationship. They sing the song as if they are talking about each other. They stay in character throughout the track. They sound like they are really in love with each other. You could forget they are singing a song because they sound like they are a couple. They only collaborated on one track and that’s disappointing. They have vocal chemistry with each other. Their voices blend well together.
They sing their verses separately until they sing the chorus. They come together for the bridge and they let loose. They give this song their all. They leave nothing to chance. They turn the track into a power ballad. They belt at the end of the track and it’s not to be missed. Deborah Cox really goes all the way with her vocals at the end. She might have a slight edge in the vocal battle, but RL gave it a good try.
# 1 – Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here
The number one song on our Top 10 Deborah Cox Songs list is “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” from her One Wish album. The song has an r&b sound. The love anthem is about a woman who has been hurt in the past and finds herself in a great relationship. She thought she would never be able to find love again after having her heart broken. The lyrics are relatable to anyone who has been burned by love and had the opportunity to find someone new.
She tells a convincing story about a woman who gets a second chance at love. This is one of her biggest r&b songs. Here is some trivia about the song. The track was originally written for singer Patti LaBelle, but she rejected the track for some reason. Patti LaBelle’s loss was Deborah Cox’s gain because the song was a monster hit for her. Singer Montell Jordan and Anthony “Shep” Crawford wrote the track based on Patti LaBelle’s “If Only You Knew.” It’s hard to imagine anyone else singing this gem. This song belongs to Deborah Cox. Patti LaBelle might not have sung the song the same way. This track gave her a chance to vocally soar.
She did everything right with this track. She teased the audience by singing softly and then she let go. She soared to the stars vocally. She wanted the world to know she was a power balladeer like the other powerhouse divas Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey.
Feature Photo: Elvert Barnes from Hyattsville MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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