*After having been compared vocally to the film’s original star for her entire professional career, R & B star and Broadway legend Deborah Cox has decided to take the comparison head-on.
She has been touring the country — and earning rave reviews — in the lead role in The Bodyguard musical, which was first introduced to audiences via film in 1991.
Cox has also just released I Will Always Love You, an exceptionally well-sung collection of covers including anthems, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and “The Greatest Love Of All.”
Fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Cox has done the legend justice, and in a couple of cases, her versions actually improve upon the originals.
Her brilliant recreation of “The Greatest Love Of All” features an acoustic arrangement paired with her heartfelt, understated vocal. Similarly, Cox’s “Run To You,” from The Bodyguard, gives her a chance to really stretch out and blow listeners away not just with vocal pyrotechnics but with her sincere, passionate reading of the lyric.
I had to ask Cox where she got to guts to cover “The Voice.”
“I think the courage to do those songs came from literally being constantly faced with the comparison…all of my professional life.” Cox warmly shared by phone. “I finally decided to stop fighting it. People know what Whitney means to me, what her music meant to me, and there are a lot of similarities in tonality, in nuances. In recording the songs, I tried to recreate the essence…”
Having heard the new album, I’m not worried at all about Cox’s performance in the new play. Based on the 1991 feature film, The Bodyguard musical tells the story of former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, who is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love.
Of the new production, Cox says she’s been taken aback by the reaction of those in its standing-room-only audiences.
Read more of Michael Coleman’s Review (and interview with the star) at EURThisNthat.