Deborah Cox Reflects On Breakthrough Hit 'Nobody's Supposed To Be Here'

Canadian singer Deborah Cox reflected on the success of her signature song “Nobody’s Supposed to be Here” just three months shy of the 20th anniversary of its release.

“I never, never, never get tired of it,” the 46-year-old told Billboard of her breakthrough single. “The song will always be alive to me.”

Released in September 1998, “Nobody’s Supposed to be Here" hit the Top 10 in Canada and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It earned a pair of Soul Train Awards and helped Cox get nominated as Best Female Vocalist at the Juno Awards.

“I remember it was under Celine Dion, who was one of the vocalists I sang background for. I remember going, ‘Wow, it’s No. 2!.’” Cox recalled. (Dion's collaboration with R. Kelly, "I'm Your Angel" topped the chart in the last four weeks of 1998.)

Co-writers Anthony “Shep” Crawford and Montell Jordan told Billboard it was originally written with Patti LaBelle in mind. “The song sat around for over a year with no one wanting it,” Jordan said. “We were flabbergasted, because in our hearts we knew there was nothing else out there like it.”

Cox said she first heard the track in early 1998 and immediately knew she wanted to record it. 

“I just remember hearing it and going, ‘Oh my God, this speaks to me!’ I had just gone through the same thing: I was caught off guard with the love of my life, so it really resonated.”