Deborah Ann "Debbie" Harry is a singer-songwriter and actress, best known for being the lead singer of the punk rock and new wave band Blondie. She has also had success as a solo artist, and in the mid-1990s she performed and recorded as part of The Jazz Passengers.
Her acting career spans over thirty film roles and numerous television appearances.
She began her musical career in the late '60s with a folk rock group, The Wind in the Willows. who recorded one album for Capitol Records. Harry then joined a girl-group trio, The Stilettos, in the early 1970s. The Stilettos' backup band included her eventual boyfriend and Blondie guitarist, Chris Stein.
Harry and Stein formed the band Blondie in the mid-1970s, naming it for the term of address men often yelled at Harry. Blondie quickly became regulars at Max's Kansas City and CBGB in New York City. After a debut album in 1976, commercial success followed in the late 1970s to the early 1980s, first in Australia and Europe, then in the U.S.
With her two-tone bleached-blonde hair, Harry quickly became a recognizable punk icon. Her look was further popularized by the band's early presence in the music video revolution of the era. She was a continued regular at Studio 54.
In June 1979, Blondie graced the cover of Rolling Stone. Harry's stage persona of cool sexuality and streetwise style became so closely associated with the group's name that many came to believe "Blondie" was the singer's name. The difference between the individual Harry and the band Blondie was famously highlighted with a "Blondie is a Group" button campaign by the band in 1979.
Riding the crest of Disco, the infectious track hit #1 in the US and sold nearly two million copies. The follow-up single, "One Way Or Another" reached #24 on Billboard's Hot 100. The album was the band's biggest success, having sold over 6 million copies in the U.S. The band were also pioneers of the music video movement with Eat To The Beat being heralded as the first ever music video cassette album.
The release of the platinum-plus Eat to the Beat album in 1979 and Autoamerican in 1980, continued the band's run of hits, including "Dreaming," Atomic" and three more US #1 singles: "The Tide Is High," "Rapture" and "Call Me" from the film soundtrack American Gigolo, which became Billboard's #1 song of 1980.
After a year long hiatus in 1981, during which Harry released her first solo album, Blondie regrouped and released their sixth studio album The Hunter. The album peaked at #33 and fell rapidly off the charts. The single "Island of Lost Souls" briefly cracked the US Top 40.
The band's "War Child" was released as a single in the UK. Blondie launched a North American tour to support the release, but it was cut short when Stein fell seriously ill with the rare autoimmune disease, pemphigus. Coupled with declining commercial fortunes, the band split up.
Later in the 1980s, the remix album Once More Into The Bleach was released, featuring remixes of tracks by Blondie and from Harry's solo career. The mid-1990s saw the release of further Blondie remix albums Beautiful in Europe and Remixed Remade Remodeled in the U.S.
In 1997, Blondie began working together again for the first time in 15 years. of the original members (Harry, Stein, Clem Burke and Jimmy Destri) embarked on sessions for what would become Blondie's seventh studio album.
After a final tour of Europe with The Jazz Passengers in the summer of 1998, Deborah Harry resumed duties as lead vocalist of Blondie. Prior to the release of No Exit, the band completed a sold out tour of Europe.
To date, Harry has released five solo albums. Harry began her solo career with the Chrysalis Records album Koo Koo in 1981. The album peaked at #28 in the U.S. and #6 in the UK. It was later certified gold in the US and Silver in the UK.
While leading Blondie, Harry and Stein became life as well as musical partners, although they never married. In the mid-1980s, she took a few years off to nurse Stein back to health after he suffered a life-threatening disease. Stein and Harry broke up in the 1990s, but they have continued to work together.
In 1999, she was called the 12th greatest woman of rock and roll by VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll and in 2002, she was called the 18th sexiest artist of all time by VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists.
She recently completed recording a new album with Blondie titled Panic Of Girls, which was released on May 30 2011.
|"Panic of Girls"|