With the exception of a few popular words like “Eh” and a small accent (very small most of the time), Canadian-born folks are pretty much just like Americans. We have a similar culture and similar interests (aside from providing great healthcare…). Many move from the country to the US to achieve massive success in the arts and in other facets, and when they come, they blend in pretty perfectly. That’s why it’s always surprising to find out that certain people are actually from Canada. We know the usual suspects: Drake, Melanie Fiona, Justin Bieber…but this list is for folks (some a bit random) that we had no clue about. And if you did already…*pulls out a cookie*
How. Did. Youuuuuuuuuu get here!? Sorry, I had to do it. Maybe I was born under a rock and everyone and their mothers knew about this, but I truly didn’t know Deborah Cox was a Canadian-born sista. But she is! Born in Toronto by Afro-Guyanese parents, she was raised in Scarborough, Toronto and while trying to make a name for herself out there, she had the chance to be a background vocalist for Celine Dion. But it wasn’t until the early ’90s that she left for LA. Cox is often talked about as Canada’s biggest R&B artist thanks to her massive hit, “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here.” Oooooh they played that song to death.
Who knew this fine brotha was Canadian? I sure didn’t. Fox was born and raised in Toronto to Bahamian and Italian-Canadian parents. Around three years old though, his family picked up and moved to Nassau where Fox would go on to be a basketball star before moving AGAIN with his family to Indiana.
FREDDIE! I mean, Cree! One of our favorite chicks from A Different World and probably the hardest working voice actor out there, was actually born in Los Angeles. However, she’s repping Saskatchewan of all places and was raised on a Reservation in the province. I don’t know why, but I really had myself thinking she was born in like…Seattle or some mess. Well slap me silly, she’s a proud Canadian!
THROWBACK! Vanity, born Denise Matthews, is a Niagara Falls, Ontario girl, and she had dreams of being a big star like Diana Ross. She entered beauty pageants in Toronto and even tried to compete for Miss Canada. At the young age of 19, she left Niagara Falls (and all that water) behind for the bright lights and big city of NYC.
A very underrated singer/songwriter (who some like to say Rihanna originally swagger-jacked when she became a girl gone bad), Dobson, like Cox, is from Scarborough in Toronto and is everything from French, to English, to Aborigine, and Jamaican. Trying to make it in the industry up there was a struggle though, because Dobson said people were trying to make her into the next Britney Spears or Brandy, when she just wanted to thrash around and act a fool like the punk/pop star she is. Those Scarborough kids I tell you…
Ha! Random, right? By the looks of him, I think a lot of people used to swear up and down that Neo…I mean, Keanu, was a Hawaiian man. While his father was Hawaiian, and he lived all around as a kid, our Matrix man was raised primarily in Toronto. All of a sudden, I have an urge to watch Speed…
Tamia is repping Windsor, Ontario for all those wondering, and when I found out I was highly surprised. In fact, the singer and Grant Hill’s love grew up in the inner city of Windsor, in an area very close to Detroit. While there, Tamia was already making a name for herself in music as a young woman, winning scholarships because of her vocal capabilities, and also winning the YTV Vocal Achievement Award, a prestigious prize in Canada. “Officially Missing You” is like my favorite song…just felt like saying that…
Famed video model and actress Melyssa Ford is a Toronto chick all day, even studying forensic psychology at York University, Toronto’s famed research university. It wasn’t until the late ’90s that she left to start her career. While working as a bartender in a nightclub in the late ’90s, music video director Little X found Ford getting her Cocktail on and wanted to help her get her start as a video model. The rest is history!
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