We Can’t Be Friends – Deborah Cox (with R.L. from Next) | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#8) and R&B (#1 for 2 weeks); 1999

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Of the many great classic R&B singers, it was Gladys Knight who really sparked Deborah Cox’s passion for music. Growing up, she gained experience singing commercial jingles and working with bands, and then studied at the Claude Watson School For The Performing Arts. Deborah ultimately found an prominent showcase for her talent as backup singer for Celine Dion. A deal with Arista Records followed in 1993, and two years later her first album was in the record bins. Her sophomore effort, 1998’s One Wish, got off to a slow start when Things Just Ain’t The Same stumbled. The second single – Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here – avenged Things‘ weak showing by becoming the #1 single of the year. Then, in seesaw fashion, her first record of 1999, It’s Over Now, performed poorly with a compensating #1 R&B ride from We Can’t Be Friends.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Shep Crawford

Lyrics Written by:

  • Shep Crawford
  • Jimmy Russell