If you grew up in Canada in the late ’90s/early ’00s, your body knows the song, even if your mind doesn’t recall it quite as quickly anymore. The relentless beat driving Simone Denny’s cathartic growl as she sounds the alarm of pulsating resistance: “I’ve got broken bones/ not from your sticks and stones/ but from the names that you call me.”
“Broken Bones” was ubiquitous in 1997, and it made the Toronto-based band Love Inc. a massive, almost overnight success story. The band was founded by DJ/remixer/producer Chris Sheppard, alongside fellow producer/remixer Brad Daymond. Denny joined as the band’s vocalist, and she quickly became the most visible member of Love Inc. The group released its self-titled debut in 1998, and with the help of a second blockbuster hit, “You’re a Superstar,” and high rotation on MuchMusic, the record went platinum.
Love Inc. racked up two Juno Awards, logged thousands of kilometres on the road, and found themselves the unlikely mainstream Canadian representatives of Eurodance. Through Denny’s commanding vocal performance, “Broken Bones” and “You’re a Superstar” became liberation anthems.