10 Things To Know About Birthday Girl Jully Black

Jully Black, Canada’s queen of R&B and soul, is celebrating a milestone on Wednesday – her 40th birthday!

Born on Nov. 8, 1977, she burst onto the music scene two decades later with the song “Rallyin’” (feat. Saukrates) but really took off with the release of her 2005 debut album This Is Me, which included the hit track “Sweat of Your Brow” (feat. Demarco).

Two years later, Black scored her biggest hit with an upbeat cover of the 1961 Etta James classic “Seven Day Fool.” The song helped her sophomore album Revival win the Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year.

Black went on to release The Black Book in 2009 but — except for a mixtape in 2010 and the single “Fugitive” in 2012 – she hasn’t given fans a new collection of songs since. Black continues to sing live, including a recent performance at WeDay in Winnipeg.

In celebration of Black’s 40th, here are 10 things you should know about her:

- She was born Jullyann Inderia Gordon in Toronto, the youngest of seven children of Jamaican immigrants Lloyd and Aretha. Her parents divorced when she was nine so she was raised by her mom, whom she recently described as her best friend.

In light of Thanksgiving I want to take this moment to express my complete gratitude, thanks and praise to the most high for allowing me to live to see the day when my parents could have this moment front row at my Concert. (Dads VERY first Jully Black Show) The truth is: Divorce is never easy... Raising kids as a single parent is never easy... Being the parent who has to Visit your child (in most cases it's the Father) is never easy... Being the child who wasn't visited was never easy... BUT one things for sure IF you keep LOVE in your heart even when the times get hard GOD is guaranteed to meet you where you need him and EXACTLY when you need him to!!! On October 8th I embarked on an intentional regiment Of the rediscovery of Jullyann Gordon. I found I called on God MAINLY when I was in trouble or had some miracle happen...I know my earthly Mother LOVES hearing from me and would be so sad if I ONLY called on her for those reasons so I gotta treat my Heavenly Father WAY better. To sum it up my mind, body, soul and career all need to be fed daily, with positive intent and ON PURPOSE. The Victory is bout to be SWEETER then Ever! Why? Because I'm committed to doing the work! #Thanksgiving #Blessed

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- Black grew up in Toronto’s low-income Jane and Finch neighbourhood and attended Topcliff Avenue Public School, where she often impressed classmates with her rendition of Whitney Houston and Pointer Sisters songs.

- She has shared that she was sexually abused as a teenager – something she didn’t tell her mother until she was in her 30s. “Her response was was loving but very Jamaican,” Black recalled in a social media post. “She basically said had I told her sooner I would be busting her in jail for MURDAH!”

- Black was ranked No. 24 on CBC Music’s list of “The 25 Greatest Canadian Singers Ever.”

- She had a role in both the stage and television productions of ‘Da Kink in My Hair. Black also appeared in the Ontario-shot crime flick Saving God.

- Black spent one season as a correspondent on CTV’s eTalk, where she interviewed big names like Jay-Z and Oprah Winfrey. When Black interviewed the hosts of The View, Rosie O’Donnell told her she looked like Mary J. Blige. “Oh no," Black snapped back, "she look like me."

- Among many causes she supports is mental health awareness. “I know too many people dying FROM and IN silence in the black community,” she wrote on Instagram recently. “Mental illness has no colour, religion, sex or social economics status.”

- In 2015, Black shared a #tbt photo on Instagram of herself, standing beside members of Metric, meeting Queen Elizabeth at a 2010 event in Toronto. She recalled that she didn't curtsy as directed but instead shook the Queen's hand.

Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary II is the world's oldest reigning monarch as well as Britain's longest-lived. If still reigning on 10 September 2015, she will have become the longest-reigning British head of state and the longest-reigning female monarch in history, surpassing Queen Victoria. To some the above information is trivial to me is AFFIRMATIVE! When they say it in my Intros "Handpicked to sing for the Queen" I used to feel uncomfortable and I think that's because I was raised to be humble. Don't show off! Stop being "Bosee!" BUT as I continue to grow into my purpose I realize that God will show you glimpses of what he wants for you and although I'm not looking to be the Queen of England, I know I must OWN that I am the Queen of my Destiny and the length of my reign will be determined by the size of my Faith, my attitude, my happiness, my decisions, my team, my work Ethic, my Resilience, my Endurance, my persistence, my ability to say no, Chile I can go on! So this #ThrowbackThursday is dedicated to all of us who have chosen to shrink down when people speak of our greatness instead of rise up on the inside and use it to fuel your passion! Being Cocky and being confident are two different things! Yes, remain humble and be kind. Help others even when it seems like you don't have the resources BUT subscribe to your gift and be your #1 Fan because If you don't believe in you why should anyone else! IM A GIRL IM A LADY IM A WOMAN IM A QUEEN IM EVERYTHING I CAN DREAM."-Queen (Song my Revival album) Funny thing is I wrote the song LONG before Queen Elizabeth II asked me to sing at her event. #LawOfAttraction PS The Finch in be decided Not to Curtsy and I shook her hand when they said not to! Why? Because she's a super cool HUMAN being! Bad Gyal Na Curtsy! Shine, Believe Soar! #TBT #DaugherOfTheKing #FatherSonHolySpirit #Christian #Believer #PurposeDriven #GreatnessIsManifested

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- Black has had 10 Juno Awards nominations so far, including two wins.

- Black is proud to be Canadian. “I did want to run south,” she said of the lure of America. “I was ready to go.” But, she told CBC News last February, “my career was birthed here, cultivated here…it’s amazing.”