Debbie Harry performing performing with Blondie, live in Barcelona, 2008
|Birth name||Angela Tremble|
July 1, 1945 |
Miami, Florida, U.S.
|Genres||New wave, punk rock, disco|
|Occupations||Singer-songwriter, actress, former Playboy bunny|
Eleven Seven (2007)
|Associated acts||Blondie (1974-1982, 1999-present)
The Wind in the Willows (1968-1968)
|Website||Debbie Harry's' Official Site|
Deborah Ann "Debbie" Harry (born July 1, 1945) is an American 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, recorded and performed with The Jazz Passengers. Her acting career spans over 30 film roles and numerous television appearances.
Early life and starting point 
Harry was born in Miami, Florida, and adopted by Catherine Harry and Richard Smith, gift shop proprietors in Hawthorne, New Jersey. She attended Hawthorne High School, where she graduated in 1963. She graduated from Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey, with an Associate of Arts degree in 1965. Before starting her singing career she moved to New York City in the late 1960s and worked as a secretary at BBC Radio's office there for one year. Later, she was a waitress at Max's Kansas City, a go-go dancer in Union City, New Jersey, discothèque, and a Playboy Bunny.
In the late 1960s, Deborah Harry began her musical career as a background vocalist for the folk rock group, The Wind in the Willows, releasing one self-titled album in 1968 on Capitol Records. The group also recorded a second album which was never released and whose studio tapes remain lost to this day.
After leaving The Stilettos, Harry and Stein formed Angel and the Snake with Tish and Snooky Bellomo. Shortly thereafter, Harry and Stein formed Blondie, naming it after the term of address men often called her when she bleached her hair blonde. 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 United States.
In 1989 and 2010 interviews, Harry claimed that she had been lured into a car driven by serial killer, Ted Bundy, while in New York during the early 1970s but stated that she luckily escaped. While Harry has identified the driver as Bundy from TV news reports, the fact checking website snopes.com says the driver was probably not Bundy because there is no known record that Bundy was in New York at that time. Snopes noted that Ann Rule, an author of a book on Bundy, says false claims of Bundy abductions are not uncommon.
While leading Blondie, Harry and Stein became life as well as musical partners, though they never married. Harry has no children. In the mid-1980s, she took a few years off to care for Stein while he suffered with Pemphigus, a rare autoimmune disease that affects the skin and mucous membranes. Stein and Harry broke up in the 1980s, but continued to work together. In 1999, Harry was deemed 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.
With her two-tone bleached-blonde hair, Harry quickly became a punk icon. Her look was further popularized by the band's early presence in the music video revolution of the era. She was a regular at Studio 54. In June 1979, Blondie was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone. Harry's persona, combining cool sexuality with 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. In 1981, Harry issued a press release to clarify that her name was not "Debbie Blondie" or "Debbie Harry", but Deborah Harry, though Harry later described her character in the band as being named "Blondie", as in this quote from the No Exit tour book:
|“||Hi, it's Deb. You know, when I woke up this morning I had a realization about myself. I was always Blondie. People always called me Blondie, ever since I was a little kid. What I realized is that at some point I became Dirty Harry. I couldn't be Blondie anymore, so I became Dirty Harry.||”|
During 1976 and 1977, Blondie released their first two albums. The second experienced some marginal success outside the United States. However, 1978's Parallel Lines (US No. 6, UK No. 1) shot the group to international success and included the global smash hit single "Heart of Glass." Riding the crest of Disco's domination, the infectious track hit No. 1 in the US and sold nearly two million copies. The follow-up single "One Way Or Another" reached No. 24 on Billboard's Hot 100. The album was the band's biggest success. Although it has sold over 4 million copies in the United States alone, it has never been certified above the Platinum level. It was also the biggest selling album of 1979 in the United Kingdom.
The release of the platinum-selling Eat to the Beat album (US No. 17, UK No. 1) in 1979 and Autoamerican (US No. 7, UK No. 3) in 1980 continued the band's run of hits, including "Dreaming", "Atomic" and three more US No. 1 singles: "The Tide Is High", "Rapture" and "Call Me" from the soundtrack to the film American Gigolo, which became Billboard's No. 1 song of 1980.
After a year-long hiatus in 1981, during which Harry released her first solo album (see below), Blondie regrouped and released their sixth studio album The Hunter (US No. 33, UK No. 9). The album met with a disastrous reception, peaking at No. 33 in the US and falling rapidly off the charts. The single "Island of Lost Souls" briefly cracked the US Top 40 though narrowly missed the top ten in the UK, where the album had been a top ten entry but sold far less than their previous albums. Blondie launched a worldwide tour to support the release, but it was cut short due to slow ticket sales. Stein also fell seriously ill with the rare autoimmune disease, pemphigus. Coupled with declining record sales and internal struggles, 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 US. New mixes of "Heart of Glass", "Atomic" and "Union City Blue" were released as singles and all made the UK Top 40, while remixes of "Atomic", "Rapture" and "Heart of Glass" had major success on the US dance charts.
In 1997, Blondie began working together again for the first time in 15 years. Two tracks were recorded with TV Mania, the production trio of two Duran Duran members, Nick Rhodes and Warren Cuccurullo, and producer Anthony J. Resta. "Studio 54" and "Pop Trash Movie" were scheduled for release on a Blondie compilation, entitled This Is Blondie. However, the project and the tracks were shelved as the four original members (Harry, Stein, Clem Burke and Jimmy Destri) embarked on sessions for what would become Blondie's seventh studio album. During this period, they released a cover of Iggy Pop's "Ordinary Bummer" on the tribute album We Will Fall (1997).
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. Dates at London's Lyceum Theatre were recorded by the BBC and aired on national BBC Radio 1. A week before the release of No Exit, the lead single "Maria" debuted at No. 1 in the UK, giving Blondie their sixth UK No.1 hit. "Maria" also reached No. 1 in 14 different countries, the top 10 on the US Dance Charts and Top 15 on the US Adult Top 40 Charts. No Exit debuted at No.3 in the UK and No. 17 in the US and Blondie announced dates for a major arena tour that summer, during which they played the Glastonbury Festival and Party in the Park in London. "Nothing Is Real but the Girl" was another UK Top-30 hit, while the title track was released as a limited-edition single to coincide with further arena dates in November of that year.
Tracks culled from dates throughout the 1999 world tour were released as a live album, titled Live in the US and Livid in the UK and were released in late 1999 and early 2000, respectively. A Blondie Live companion DVD was also released, recorded at a show in New York City's The Town Hall.
Although Blondie commenced recording tracks for the follow-up to No Exit in 2001, the sessions were besieged with problems including the loss of master tapes after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the winter of 2002, Blondie returned with a full-scale UK tour. This preceded the release of a new single in 2003 entitled "Good Boys" (a hit across the UK and Europe that autumn, and top 10 on the US Dance Charts the following spring) and the release of Blondie's eighth studio album, The Curse of Blondie. The band toured throughout 2003 and 2004, completing two further full-scale tours of the UK.
A second live album, entitled Live By Request, was released in 2005, along with a companion DVD set. In that year, the band also released the mash-up "Rapture Riders," which combined their 1981 hit "Rapture" with The Doors' "Riders on the Storm". This track was taken from a greatest hits compilation entitled Sound and Vision (first issued in the UK as Sight + Sound), released with a companion DVD and new mixes of "In the Flesh" and "Good Boys".
In the winter of 2005, Blondie toured the UK for the fourth time in as many years. In 2006, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Around this time, Blondie released a new studio track, a cover of Roxy Music's 1982 hit "More Than This". This was to promote their "Road Rage" tour and the single was made available for free download.
At the end of 2006, a new mix of "Heart of Glass" became a club hit in Europe, while Harry released the single "New York New York", a collaboration with Moby. The song debuted on YouTube, some four weeks before its official release.
In the summer of 2007, Blondie toured in the UK once again. Around this time, Harry delineated the different personas (Blondie the band, her role in the band, and Deborah Harry the singer) to an interviewer who asked why she played only solo music on the 2007 True Colors Tour: "I've put together a new trio with no Blondie members in it—I really want to make a clear definition between Debbie's solo projects and Blondie—and I hope that the audience can appreciate that and also appreciate this other material."
On July 3, 2008, Blondie commenced a world tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Parallel Lines with a sell-out concert at the amphitheatre in Ra'anana, Israel. During the tour, drummer Clem Burke stated that the tour had inspired the band to make another record, Panic of Girls, their first new album since the release of The Curse of Blondie in 2003.
In 2009, Blondie joined Pat Benatar for the Call Me Invincible tour. The majority of the shows were opened by The Donnas. In December 2009, Blondie recorded their version of the traditional song "We Three Kings" to coincide with the band's new album.
In the summer of 2010, Blondie began a UK tour, including venues in Newcastle, Manchester, Sheffield and Dublin. They also played festivals including the Isle of Wight and Rockness Festival in Inverness, Scotland. Tracks from their forthcoming album Panic of Girls were performed during their tour of the UK, notably 'D-Day' and 'What I Heard'.
The album got released first in July 2011 in the United Kingdom, with Germany, USA and Japan following. As a marketing innovation, the band made a lot of special editions with different bonus tracks and added content (extra cds, magazines, etc.). It got good reviews from the press and spotted Nº1 in Amazon. "Mother" was the first single, accompanied by a video, and "What I Heard" was the second.
|Film and television|
|1978||The Foreigner||Dee Trik|
|1981||Downtown 81||Fairy Godmother|
|1987||Tales from the Darkside (TV series)||Sybil|
|Crime Story (TV series)||Bambi|
|Hairspray||Velma Von Tussle|
|1989||New York Stories||Girl at Blind Alley (segment "Life Lessons")|
|Wiseguy (TV series)||Diana Price|
|1990||Tales from the Darkside: The Movie||Betty (wraparound story)|
|Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme||Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe|
|1991||Monsters (TV series)||Dr. Moss|
|1992||Intimate Stranger (TV movie)||Cory Wheeler|
|1993||TriBeCa (TV series)||Cat|
|The Adventures of Pete & Pete (TV series)||Neighbor|
|Body Bags (TV movie)||The Nurse (segment "Hair")|
|1994||Dead Beat||Mrs. Kurtz|
|1995||Drop Dead Rock||Thor Sturmundrang|
|1996||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (TV series)||Cassandra|
|1997||L.A. Johns (TV movie)||Madam 'Jacq' Jacqueline|
|Six Ways to Sunday||Kate Odum|
|2000||Red Lipstick||Ezmeralda The Psychic|
|2002||All I Want||Ma Mabley|
|2003||My Life Without Me||Ann's mother|
|A Good Night to Die||Madison|
|The Tulse Luper Suitcases||Fastidieux|
|2005||Honey Trap (short)||The Lawyer|
|I Remember You Now... (short)||Margaret|
|2006||Full Grown Men||Beauty|
|2009||The Mystery of Claywoman (short)||Simone|
|2011||Pipe Dreams (short)||Norah|
|2012||Believe the Magic (short)|
In a recent interview, Harry stated that "after witnessing Elton John and his tireless efforts against HIV/AIDS", she has been inspired to put philanthropy as her top priority, of all projects. "These things are important to my life now. I have the privilege of being able to get involved, so I do. I applaud people like Elton John, who have used their position to do so much good. I could really feel his power and see how effective it was in helping to highlight causes like HIV/AIDS and I thought I should get up off my fat a** and do something too."  Some of Harry's charities include fighting cancer, and endometriosis .
- "Deborah Harry (I) - Biography". Internet Movie Database.
- Deborah Harry Biography (1945-) Film Reference
- Rohan, Virginia. Harry also graduated from Centenary College. "North Jersey-bred and talented too"[dead link], The Record (Bergen County), June 18, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2007. "Debbie Harry: Class of 1963, Hawthorne High School"
- "Centenary College Honors Deborah Harry as a Distinguished Alumna". Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- Evans, tim (2007-07-22). "Harry's game". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
- "History of Punk The Ramones, Sex Pistols, Blondie & New York Dolls / Max’s Kansas City". "former Max's waitress Debbie Harry."
- "Currently Crushing On: Debbie Harry | Fry Up Friday". Fry Up Friday. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- How Times Have Changed, Ex-Playboy Bunnies Say. Scott Simon. June 5, 2010. WBUR, National Public RadioNPR story on Playboy Clubs. "Actress Lauren Hutton was a Bunny, as was singer Deborah Harry".
- The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia Of Rock & Roll c1983, page 48.
- Stevie Chick, Psychic Confusion: The Sonic Youth Story (Omnibus Press, 2007). ISBN 978-0-85712-054-0
- Beckett, Warren (23 May 2011). "Blondie: Panic of Girls". BitchBuzz. Retrieved 3 June 2011. "'Blondie' from what men would shout at her in the street"
- Blondie's Debbie Harry claims serial killer Ted Bundy lured her into car The Telegraph 12/09/10
- "Call Me!" Disbelieving, Blondie Snopes.com 2007
- "Harry's horror". The Belfast Telegraph. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2011. "Ms Harry never married ... Having children never tempted her either"
- 1999, VH1: 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll
- 2002, VH1: 100 Sexiest Artists
- "On the Road Again: Blondie". USA Today. 2011-09-02. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
- "More Males Per Oxide". Record Mirror (mirrored at Blondie fansite). April 28, 1979. Retrieved 2006-09-26.
- D Harry, No Exit Tour Book, (New York: Blondie Music, Inc., 1999).
- "Three questions with Debbie Harry...". Las Vegas Weekly (mirrored at official Deborah Harry web site). June 7, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- "Exclusive: Blondie to release brand new album". Mirror.co.uk. 2008-07-07. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
- "Elton John Inspired Debbie Harry to Get on Charity Action Read more: http://www.contacmusic.com/news/elton-inspired-debbie-harry-to-help-charities_1208030".
- "Debbie Harry - Debbie Harry Auctioning Off Concert Package For Charity". contactmusic. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
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