Felicia Lily "Fefe" Dobson (born February 28, 1985) is
a Canadian singer-songwriter and model. Her self-titled debut album
earned her two Juno Award nominations. Her second album, Sunday Love,
was not released and she was terminated from her recording company.
During production of Dobson's subsequent studio album Joy, with her
manager's recording company (21 Music), she was re-signed to her
original major recording company (Island Records). Both companies
continued working on Joy, and after experiencing numerous delays,
it was released on November 22, 2010 in Canada and November 30,
2010 in the United States. Her music has been covered by other
artists and featured in cinema, television, and more.
Dobson was born on February 28, 1985, in Scarborough, Ontario, a
suburb of Toronto. Dobson's mother is of English, Aboriginal,
and French ancestry and her father is of Jamaican heritage. She
went to high school at Wexford Collegiate Institute. During her childhood,
she took singing lessons at the New Conservatory of Music in Agincourt,
Scarborough to improve her singing. To this day, her teacher, Lucia,
still teaches there and has a magazine clipping of her successful
student posted on her window.
Dobson began sending demo tapes – recorded on a home karaoke
machine – to many recording companies in North America when
she was 11 years old. Then at the age of 13 years, she started
playing the piano. Dobson has said that John Lennon and Judy Garland
are her primary musical influences, and that her biggest musical
inspiration growing up was Michael Jackson: "I swore I was Michael
Jackson. Then I found out I wasn't Michael Jackson and it broke my
heart." At the same time, she went to "every 'N Sync
concert there was."
Before Dobson was signed, she claimed she had been stereotyped as
a contemporary R&B or popular music singer instead of a rock
musician due to her race, often being compared to Brandy Norwood
and Britney Spears.
Dobson started writing music at the age of 13 years, and the company
Jive Records attempted to develop her as a popular musician, which
she eventually refused. After that experience, Dobson met Jay
Levine and contracted with Nelly Furtado’s manager Chris Smith.
Smith arranged showcases with several recording companies. Universal
Music Canada president Randy Lennox showed interest in her, and coaxed
Island Def Jam CEO Lyor Cohen and his manager of A&R, Jeff Fenster,
to fly to Toronto for another showcase. Dobson played a showcase
for Island/Def Jam; about 30 seconds into the first song —a
punk thrash track about longing, titled "Stupid Little Love
Song"—the executives contracted her.
 Music career
Dobson performing in July 2011
 2003–06: Fefe Dobson and Sunday Love
When in recording studios, Dobson hung up inspirational pictures
of Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, Coldplay, Jeff Buckley, and the Vines
to help motivate her and to commemorate the artists who she believed
influenced her. Dobson was also heavily influenced by Jay Levine
and James Bryan McCollum of the Canadian band Prozzäk, who co-wrote
and helped produce her debut album.
Dobson's self-titled debut album was released December 9, 2003 by
Island Records, and sold 307,000 copies in the United States, according
to Nielsen SoundScan as quoted by Billboard. The album debuted
at number 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums Chart. Four singles
were released from the album: "Bye Bye Boyfriend", "Take
Me Away", "Everything", and "Don't Go (Girls
and Boys)". There is an official music video for each of the
singles. Two of the album's tracks, "Everything" and "Unforgiven",
were used in the film The Perfect Score. The New York Times reviewer
wrote: "The album's assiduous, ungrammatical crux is in 'Kiss
Me Fool': 'Tell me whom I should be to make you love me.'"
During much of 2004, Dobson promoted her debut album, performing
live on the program Total Request Live and for numerous magazine
covers and articles. Dobson made an appearance on NBC's TV series
American Dreams, in which she played the role of Tina Turner, covering
the song "River Deep, Mountain High". She was also
the opening act of Justin Timberlake's European tour. That
July, she released a new single, "Don't Go (Girls and Boys)",
which was also featured in a Tommy Hilfiger commercial featuring
the singer. The album was later reissued with that single added.
Dobson also had a new song, "If You Walk Away", on the
soundtrack of Raising Helen.
Dobson was an endorser for the Got Milk? organization.
Dobson released the record "Truth Anthem" on the Much
Dance 2005 CD compilation, a benefit for the Canadian branch of War
Child. In April 2005, Dobson was nominated for two Juno Awards, Pop
Album of the Year and New Artist of the Year; both categories were
won by Avril Lavigne. During the summer of 2005, Dobson was in
a public service ad: "Make Poverty History", which brings
awareness to child poverty worldwide.
By 2006, Dobson returned to the studio to finish her second album,
Sunday Love. Musicians and songwriters she collaborated with during
the recording process include Nina Gordon, Kay Hanley, John 5, Billy
Steinberg, Matthew Wilder, Cyndi Lauper, Courtney Love, Joan Jett,
and Rancid's Tim Armstrong.
In February 2006 Dobson sang "O Canada" at All-Star Saturday
Night, part of the 2006 NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, Texas. During
spring 2006, she performed several shows around the United States,
and began promoting the record Sunday Love in anticipation of its
release. The first single, "Don't Let It Go to Your Head",
was released in 2005  but did not chart. There is an official
music video for the song. A second single, "This Is My Life" was
released in 2006. No video was made for it, and it also did not
Sunday Love was never released because Dobson was terminated by
Island Records just days before the album was scheduled for release.
The album was reviewed favorably in both Spin and Vibe magazine. "My
real good fans, my hardcore fans, have it, so that's most important," Dobson
says. "At least it got out there to a few hands, and now it's
time to make a record on my own terms." "It was sad," says
Dobson. "But instead of sitting there and being depressed and
begging people for the record, I went back to the studio, got people
that I knew, friends that I knew, and I started again."
One song from the unreleased album, "Be Strong", featured
on the soundtrack for the film It's a Boy Girl Thing.
Dobson's song "Don't Let It Go to Your Head" is covered
by Lilyjets, a Norwegian girl group, as a single on their 2006
debut album 3rd Floor. They also produced an official music video.
The music of "This Is My Life" is used by the Taiwanese
girl-group S.H.E in their song: "I Love Trouble" (????)
on their 2008 album FM S.H.E.
 2007–08: Songwriting and independent period
"Start All Over", a song co-written by Dobson and
featuring her for background vocals, was recorded by Miley Cyrus
for her 2007 album Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus and was
released as a single, reaching number 57 on the Billboard Pop
100. During a 2009 interview Dobson said, "I wrote a song,
she dug it, and she sang it. But I didn't want it for my record.
It just wasn't right for me, and I just felt like it was better for
someone else, and she does a great job on it. I was really impressed.
She sounded great. I'm actually happier she did it than I did it." 
After quitting Island Records due to creative differences, Dobson
decided to create a new album herself.
"Don't Let It Go to Your Head" is also covered by Rockett
Queen for their 2008 album Kiss and Tell  and Jordin Sparks
on her 2009 second album Battlefield. Shortly after Jordin's
album was released Dobson said, "Jordin Sparks just did [that
song], which was on Sunday Love, which was very cool. She did kind
of, like, a more R&B version of it, which I think is really nice,
actually. It was really cool that she didn't try and do a rock version
of it, and she did what she's more comfortable with, which I thought
was awesome." It was later revealed that Sparks' version
is to be released as a single in the UK on January 4, 2010.
The unreleased track "As a Blonde"  is covered on
Selena Gomez & the Scene's 2009 debut album Kiss & Tell.
 2009–present: Joy
On August 11, 2009, Dobson presented a showcase performance at the
Mercury Lounge in New York City. In an interview at the showcase
Dobson mused, "It's almost like when an animal is in a small
cage, but when you let it out it's running around like crazy. That's
how I feel when I'm onstage."
In mid-August Dobson indicated that she would like to work with
Jack White, the White Stripes/Raconteurs frontman, because she admires
him for his ability to make his ragged rock music become radio-style.
She also said that she would love to write a song for the Jonas Brothers.
Dobson performed during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards weekend
at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Friday night, September
11, at "A Concert with Fefe Dobson and Cobra Starship."
She was also one of the judges for a competition for MTV's "VMA
Best Breakout New York City Artist Award" that occurred at the
same event. Dobson attended the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards
held on September 13 in New York City at Radio City Music Hall.
On Sunday, September 27, 2009, she performed "I Want You" at
the finale of the second season of the Canadian Cable TV show The
Dobson's song, "I Want You" is in at least three versions
of TV Spot ads for the movie Whip It. The 2009 film is
the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore. The song was also used
for television advertisements in 2010 for programs on the Style network.
She performed in Perth, Australia, at the One Movement Showcase
Music Festival on October 17, 2009.
Dobson was the headline performer for one of the National Breast
Cancer Awareness Month events, a benefit concert held at the
Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, CA on October 22, 2009.
She performed at a 100 Day Countdown event to the Vancouver, British
Columbia, Canada, 2010 Winter Olympics at the Canadian Embassy in
Washington, D.C., USA on November 4, 2009. Six songs
were heard but her energetic performance resulted in a clothing mishap.
Dobson even incorporated the happening into her performance by ad-libbing, "I-I-I
just split my pants and I don't care".
Dobson performed on February 20, 2010 at Nathan Phillips Square
in Toronto, Canada as part of CTV's national celebration of the 2010
Winter Olympics. She was one of the opening acts for The Barenaked
Ladies in the all Canadian show.
She participated in the Canadian All-Star Benefit Single For Haiti
released under the collaboration name of Young Artists for Haiti.
The song is a reworked version of K'naan's single "Wavin' Flag" and
was released on March 12, 2010. Dobson is seen and heard in the
official video at the recording studio as she lent her vocals.
Dobson's involvement with the Olympics continued on March 12, 2010
as she performed "I Want You" and "Watch Me Move" at
the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
She covered "River Deep – Mountain High" for the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th annual induction ceremony at the
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on March 15, 2010.
It inspired a reviewer to state that it, "...was an eye-opening
version of Greenwich & Barry's "River Deep, Mountain High" by
Canadian belter Fefe Dobson that was so good it makes you want to
go out and buy all her music."
Dobson performed on a twenty city tour across Canada in March and
April 2010 on Hedley's The Show Must Go...On The Road Tour. Hedley
announced the tour in support of their new album The Show Must Go
which was released November 17, 2009. "Fefe Dobson and Stereos
will be along for the whole trek, while Faber Drive and Boys Like
Girls will support on select dates."
She performed at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in
Dobson also has a role in Selena Gomez's music career. On their
debut CD, Kiss & Tell, Dobson allowed Gomez and her band to re-record "As
a Blonde" from her unreleased album, Sunday Love. Dobson also
sang backup vocals. Then, she helped write the lead single, "Round & Round",
from the band's second studio album, A Year Without Rain, alongside
Kevin Rudolf and others.
The singer performed her single "Stuttering" on the November
10, 2010 broadcast of The CW Television Network series, Hellcats.
Currently Dobson performs live shows with Fatlabs session musician
In 2010, the singer released a remix of her single "Stuttering",
featuring G.O.O.D Music artist, Pusha T of Clipse. She released her
third single, "Can't Breathe" which features guitarist
Orianthi, in March 2011. It peaked at number 19 on the Canadian Hot
Main article: Fefe Dobson discography
Fefe Dobson (2003)
Sunday Love (2006, unreleased)
 Awards and nominations
Year Award Nominated work Result
2003 CASBY Award for Favourite New Single "Bye Bye Boyfriend" Nominated
2004 Canadian Radio Music Award for Best New Solo Artist [CHR (Top
40)] "Take Me Away" Nominated
MuchMusic Video Awards for Best Pop Video "Take Me Away" Won
Muchmusic Video Awards for People's Choice Favourite Canadian Artist "Take
Me Away" Won
2005 Juno Award for Pop Album of the Year Fefe Dobson Nominated
Juno Award for New Artist of the Year Herself Nominated
2011 Much Music Video Awards for of the Year Nominated
Much Music Video Awards for Pop Video of the Year Ghost Nominated
Much Music Video Awards for International Video by a Canadian Stuttering
Much Music Video Awards for "Ur Fave Video" Stuttering