Barbra Amesbury is a Canadian philanthropist, singer-songwriter, composer and filmmaker, who had several Top 40 hits in Canada in the 1970's (as Bill Amesbury) before coming out as a transsexual and pursuing sex reassignment surgery.
Amesbury's biggest hit was 1974's "Virginia (Touch Me Like You Do)", which was also the first single ever released on the Casablanca Records label. "Can You Feel It" was also a minor hit in 1976. Amesbury's "Nothin' But a Fool" has been covered by Natalie Cole, and "A Thrill's a Thrill" has been covered by Long John Baldry and by Mitch Ryder with Marianne Faithfull and John Cougar. In 1976/77, Amesbury produced "No Charge" by J.J. Barry, which became a number one hit in England.B
In 1994, Amesbury and her partner Joan Chalmers organized an art exhibition called Survivors, In Search of a Voice: The Art of Courage, using the stories of breast cancer survivors to inspire 24 women artists to create works of art aimed at raising awareness of breast cancer. The exhibition toured throughout North America from 1995 to 1998, accompanied by a companion book. Amesbury also shot a documentary film of the tour.
In 1999, "Virginia" was given an award by SOCAN to mark 100,000 spins on Canadian radio stations.
In 2002, James Collins and Dave Pickell released the single "Do You Mind If We Talk About Bill?", which was written about Amesbury.
In 2006 and 2007, her documentary film The G8 is Coming...The G8 is Coming was an official selection of the Rome International Film Festival, the Ashville Film Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival, the Southern Winds Film Festival, and the Dixie Film Festival.