Famous Like Me > Singer > H > Deborah Harry
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Profile of Deborah Harry
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|Also Know As:
|Date of Birth:
||1st July 1945
|Place of Birth:
||Miami, Florida, USA
Deborah Harry (born July 1, 1945) is a Miami-born American rock and roll musician who originally gained fame as the frontwoman for New Wave band Blondie, which originated in the mid 1970s and achieved commercial success in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
She was a regular at CBGB's, a famous New York City club that was an early epicenter for punk rock. Although Blondie could rock as hard as any of the punk rock bands of that era, it became the epitome of the New Wave style, and Debbie Harry, with her two-tone bottle-blonde hair, became its best known icon. Launching just on the cusp of MTV, Debbie Harry and Blondie put out some of the first rock music videos, in some cases inventing some of the cliches of the form.
Life and career
Before Blondie, Debbie was in a forgettable folk rock group The Wind In The Willows, before becoming part of the Stilletoes, with Blondie guitarist Chris Stein in the Early 1970s.
Her strong stage personality of cool sexuality and street wise style became so closely associated with Blondie, the band, that it was hard for some to tell the two apart, to her lasting chagrin. This is unfortunate because Blondie, the band, laid down a rich legacy of experimental tracks, situationist lyrics and DIY weirdness which makes them interesting as a musical group, and to have this overshadowed because of the focus on Debbie Harry's image misses the point of their accomplishments.
Among her notable vocals was the rap on Rapture, the first white rap song, and Heart of Glass, a New-Wave/Disco crossover, which might be the first blending of Rock with Dance music. Debbie Harry fans would probably list her Yoko Ono-esque screams on Victor and such classics as Atomic, Call Me, The Tide Is High, Denis, Maria, Forgive and Forget, Boom Boom in the Zoom Zoom, One Way or Another, and Picture This as other outstanding tracks featuring her voice.
In 1981 (see 1981 in music), Harry began a solo career, but then entered a temporary retirement (1983-1985) to nurse Blondie's guitarist, Chris Stein, back to health. She succeeded and returned as a musician and actress.
Some of her notable film roles were in Videodrome (1983), Rock & Rule (1983) an animated movie where she did vocals opposite Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, and John Waters' Hairspray (1988), where she played the big-haired and villainous Velma von Tussle, paired with Sonny Bono. She also had a voice role in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as a cab dispatcher, and sang Ghost Riders in the Sky over the closing credits of Alex Cox's film Three Businessmen.
She has since released solo albums, performed with the avant-garde jazz group the Jazz Passengers, released two new albums with Blondie - No Exit (1999) and The Curse of Blondie (2004), and come on to be one of the biggest Gay icons in the world. One of the biggest Gay anthems in the U.K is I Want That Man, from her 1989 solo album Def, Dumb and Blonde.
Debbie Harry became the prototype for successive strong women in popular music such as Madonna, Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani and any number of contemporary pop princesses. Up to that point, rock had been a heavily male-dominated field, with women trivialized as backup singers or groupies. Many women musicians have acknowledged Debbie Harry's pioneering role.
- See also Blondie discography
- Koo Koo (1981)
- Rockbird (1986)
- Def, Dumb and Blonde (1989)
- The Complete Picture - The Very Best Of Deborah Harry And Blondie (1991)
- Debravation (1993)
nb- "Boom Boom in the Zoom Zoom Room" is title of track from "No Exit" (1999)
|US Hot 100
||US Modern Rock
||US Mainstream Rock
||Married to the Mob [Soundtrack]
||"I Want That Man"
||Def, Dumb & Blonde
||"Kiss It Better"
||Def, Dumb & Blonde
- Deadly Hero (1976)
- The Blank Generation (1976) (documentary)
- The Foreigner (1978)
- Unmade Beds (1980)
- Union City (1980)
- Roadie (1980)
- New York Beat Movie (1981)
- A New Face of Debbie Harry (1982) (short subject)
- Rock & Rule (1983) (voice)
- Videodrome (1983)
- Forever, Lulu (1987)
- Satisfaction (1988)
- Hairspray (1988)
- New York Stories (1989)
- Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)
- Dead Beat (1994)
- Drop Dead Rock (1995)
- Heavy (1995)
- Wigstock: The Movie (1995) (documentary)
- Sandman (1996) (short subject)
- Cop Land (1997)
- Six Ways to Sunday (1997)
- Who Is Harry Smith? (1998) (documentary)
- Joe's Day (1998)
- Zoo (1999)
- Red Lipstick (2000)
- The Fluffer (2001)
- Deuces Wild (2002)
- Spun (2002)
- Try Seventeen (2002)
- End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones (2003) (documentary)
- My Life Without Me (2003)
- A Good Night to Die (2003)
- Ghostlight (2003)
- The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab Story (2003)
- Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2003) (documentary)
- Ramones Raw (2004) (documentary)
- Picture This: Blondie and Debbie Harry (2004) (documentary)
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