In case you were wondering why Deborah Cox has been trending on social media as of late, fear not. Amid quarantine season, social media is breathing new life in Grammy-winning songstress’ 1998 classic, “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here.”
The charting-topping smash single was originally released on her sophomore album, One Wish. A powerful vocalist in her own right, the track established the Toronto-born singer as one of the preeminent divas of the late ‘90s. “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here” went on to spend a then-record-breaking 14 weeks at the top of Billboard’s R&B chart. It remains one of Cox’s most definitive songs from her discography and now it’s being revisited by a new generation that grew up listening to the soulful R&B classic. Add the ingenuity of social media, and you have a new challenge that celebs and church singers alike are trying to master.
Fellow Torontian Melanie Fiona was one of the first to hop on the challenge. Recording from her living room, the R&B singer let her vocals soar as she went on an electrifying vocal run. “Get up there girl,” a man said from off-camera. “Oh God, I’m so lightheaded Deborah,” Fiona exclaimed when she ran out of breath before she gave it a second shot.
Queen Naija joined in on the fun next. Wearing a Sesame Street shirt paired with red shorts, the Michigan native showed off her pipes as she hit one high note after another with a few soulful croons thrown in for good measure.
From there, the Deborah Cox Challenge has continued to gain steam online as more celebrities step forward to test the limits of their vocal capabilities. “Damn Deborah, this here was the vocal olympics,” Keke Palmer joked in the caption for her take on the challenge.
Lizzo had a little more fun with her rendition of the song, but perhaps the youngest entrant seen so far is an 11-year-old aspiring singer named Liamani Segura who blew the Twitterverse away with her raw talent. Giving the Ms. #deborahcoxchallenge a try. Hope you SMILE as you listen!” she tweeted. “Hope you see this Ms. @Deborah_Cox.”
It’s a challenge that has definitely separated the singers from the sangers reminiscent of R&B’s heyday. Here is a compilation of some of the best covers we've seen yet.