Deborah Cox Christmas Concert
LIVE at Arsht Center Saturday, December 19
South Florida’s own Deborah Cox will perform her first-ever holiday show! The star singer and actress will deliver chart-topping hits and seasonal favorites during I’ll Be Home for Christmas, a concert she has created especially for the Arsht Center.
Known the world over for her Billboard-topping singles, critically acclaimed albums and starring roles on Broadway, Cox is typically on tour at this time of year. But with I’ll Be Home for Christmas, she’ll celebrate the holiday onstage in a socially distanced setting at the Arsht Center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House with her swingin’ band led by Broadway conductor Joseph Joubert. Directed by another Broadway veteran, Richard Jay-Alexander, the show will feature Cox performing holiday classics, her original hits (including brand-new single “I Really Don’t Want Much for Christmas”) and songs from Aida, Waitress, Jekyll & Hyde, The Wiz and The Bodyguard.
Since releasing her debut album in 1995, Cox has landed six Billboard Top 20 R&B singles and 13 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play Chart. She made her Broadway debut in 2004 with the lead role in the Elton John-Tim Rice musical Aida. She also starred in the sold-out national tour of The Bodyguard, which in 2018 played the Arsht Center. In 2021, Cox will release her seventh album, whose first single, “Easy Way,” is an anthem for the power of long-lasting love and commitment.
It was a pleasure to, once again, sit down with Deborah Cox for this Hotspots exclusive Interview:
When did performing become an interest of yours?
It started when I was 11 doing different talent shows and other things, and then I went to a performing arts high school.
What was your first professional/paid gig?
It was my first commercial, and it was for Marvelous Muffins. I was paid $50.
When did you know singing/performing would be your career?
I knew music was going to by my career at a very early age. I was in studio sessions at 9 years old, learning how to navigate around the studio. By the time I was in high school, I was doing it all. Holding down doing gigs and sessions. I was the one that was always tired in first period as I had a gig the night before.
You have collaborated with many artists. Do you have a favorite and why?
My favorite is the duet I did with Whitney Houston. The reason for that is I felt like everything came full circle for me as an artist. Growing up I looked up to and admired her so much!
You have received many awards for your efforts in the fight for human rights. What made you decide to use your fame for this cause and has this been rewarding for you?
It’s been really rewarding as it came out of purely organic situations. I had lost a few friends from AIDS, and I had other gay and lesbian friends who were shamed and kicked out of their family’s homes. This made me want to speak up on human rights issues, and I have never stopped!
Your Broadway debut was in Aida, how did this come about and tell us about the experience?
I was literally in between albums and had just given birth to my son. The producers were looking for a new AIDA and I just went for it. I auditioned like everyone else, then found myself in the room with creatives for almost two hours and got cast! It rekindled my love for Musical Theater which I had done prior to my albums.
A couple years ago you starred in the Broadway Tour of “The Bodyguard,” which, I must say you were AMAZING in, can you tell me about that experience?
Thanks! It was a very liberating experience. It was the most challenging role to date because I knew what the expectations were and I had to deliver 13 Whitney Houston hits!! What I didn’t know was the discipline this role would require. That meant no wine, tons of water, no coffee and being at my very best vocally, so I couldn’t afford to get sick. My only days off were the travel day(s) to the next city. I also felt that it came full circle for me. I was able to pay tribute to a long-time mentor, label mate, and friend.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Focused, nurturing, and fearless.
Other than the Pandemic, what has changed for you in the last 2 years since I spoke to you?
My perspective has changed. I have a whole new vison on what my purpose is and what I am doing moving forward. I have taken a lot of time to reflect on what’s important and making sure I am part of projects that express that. I’m excited about helping people believe in the arts again. I know it’s a challenging time, but I know the power of music, positivity and hope; it can carry you through!
What have you been doing during the Pandemic?
I have been writing, reorganizing, and re-shifting a lot of things that were stagnant. I am working on a lot of projects that I had that I didn’t have the time to get back to. It’s been a very creative time for me.
What should the South Florida audiences expect from I’ll Be Home for Christmas, a concert that you created especially for the Arsht Center?
I guess people can expect to get more in depth with me, and get to know more and hear about the other styles of music in me. They’ll come to understand the way I feel about this Holiday and in particular what it means to me. It’s a reflective time so the show has shifted in tone. Working with Richard Jay has opened me up too. I feel more comfortable to share more in this more intimate setting.
What does the future hold for you?
I can’t say specifically what that is, because I am a person who trusts God and the process, but I do know it’s more music, more movies, and more art. I have taken some lead roles in a few projects, which I am very excited about. I am starring in another musical called the “Children of Eden” next year and I am releasing my 7th album. My new single, “I Really Don’t Want Much for Christmas” talks about the things we need emotionally rather than the material things. This time allowed me to be way more creative than I ever imagined.
Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you would like to talk about?
Yes, I would encourage people to wear your masks, and be socially distant so that the entertainment industry can move forward, as well as every other industry.
Arsht Center Commitment to Health and Safety: For your safety and peace of mind, they have made a few updates to their procedures. When you return to the Arsht Center, all guests will be required to maintain a safe distance, wear a face covering (over the mouth and nose) and participate in a brief wellness screening.
Please note: Seating for this performance is purchased by the table at $60 per person. Each member of the party will be sent a link to their digital ticket within 72 hours of the performance time. To Purchase tickets, go to: ArshtCenter.org