As part of her induction, Cox will perform live on the 51st Juno Awards, which will be held May 15 at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage. To make the moment even sweeter, Toronto is Cox’s hometown.
“I feel incredibly grateful to experience this true milestone moment,” Cox said in a statement. “… As the first Black female inductee, I am honored to have the chance to show our younger generations that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to with hard work, dedication and passion.”
“Deborah is a multi-dimensional artist who has been entertaining and captivating audiences around the world for over 25 years,” Allan Reid, president and CEO of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences/The Juno Awards, said in a statement. ”Her resounding voice and powerful performances have made her an international icon.”
Previously announced performers on this year’s Juno Awards are Arcade Fire, Avril Lavigne, Arkells, Charlotte Cardin, and Mustafa. The show will be hosted by Simu Liu, who starred in the Marvel blockbuster Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
The Canadian Music Hall of Fame was established in 1978 to acknowledge artists who have made outstanding contributions to the international recognition of Canadian music. In 2016 the Canadian Music Hall of Fame found a permanent home with the opening of Calgary’s Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. A new exhibition celebrating Cox’s career will open on May 14.
Cox will be the 10th female artist to be inducted under her own name (not as part of a group), following Joni Mitchell, Maureen Forrester, Sylvia Tyson, Anne Murray, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Shania Twain, k.d. lang, Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan and Jann Arden.
Jazz pianist and composer Oscar Peterson was the first Black male artist to be inducted. He was one of the two inaugural inductees (along with bandleader Guy Lombardo) in 1978.
Cox has won three Juno Awards, all for best R&B/soul recording, for her eponymous debut album (1996), “Things Just Ain’t the Same” (1998) and her sophomore album One Wish (1999).
“Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” logged 14 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles & Tracks, as the chart was known at the time, in 1998-99, longer than any other 1990s single. Cox returned to No. 1 on that chart in 1999 with “We Can’t Be Friends,” with R.L. from Next.
In addition to her work as a recording artist, Cox has been recognized for her commitment to various social justice initiatives, including LGBTQ advocacy, support for those living with HIV/AIDS, and the fight for human rights and equality for all.
The 51st Juno Awards, produced by Insight Productions (a Boat Rocker company), broadcasts and streams live across Canada on May 15 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, CBC Listen, and globally at CBCMusic.ca/junos. Tickets start at $39.95 and are on sale now at ticketmaster.ca/junos.