The Fragile X-Related 1 gene (FXR1) is a paralog of the Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 gene (FMR1), whose absence causes the Fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited intellectual disability. FXR1P plays an important role in normal muscle development, and its absence causes muscular abnormalities in mice, frog, and zebrafish. Seven alternatively spliced FXR1 transcripts have been identified and two of them are skeletal muscle-specific. A reduction of these isoforms is found in myoblasts from Facio-Scapulo Humeral Dystrophy (FSHD) patients. FXR1P is an RNA-binding protein involved in translational control; however, so far, no mRNA target of FXR1P has been linked to the drastic muscular phenotypes caused by its absence. In this study, gene expression profiling of C2C12 myoblasts reveals that transcripts involved in cell cycle and muscular development pathways are modulated by Fxr1-depletion. We observed an increase of p21--a regulator of cell-cycle progression--in Fxr1-knocked-down mouse C2C12 and FSHD human myoblasts. Rescue of this molecular phenotype is possible by re-expressing human FXR1P in Fxr1-depleted C2C12 cells. FXR1P muscle-specific isoforms bind p21 mRNA via direct interaction with a conserved G-quadruplex located in its 3' untranslated region. The FXR1P/G-quadruplex complex reduces the half-life of p21 mRNA. In the absence of FXR1P, the upregulation of p21 mRNA determines the elevated level of its protein product that affects cell-cycle progression inducing a premature cell-cycle exit and generating a pool of cells blocked at G0. Our study describes a novel role of FXR1P that has crucial implications for the understanding of its role during myogenesis and muscle development, since we show here that in its absence a reduced number of myoblasts will be available for muscle formation/regeneration, shedding new light into the pathophysiology of FSHD.