Debbie is an American singer-songwriter and actress, most famous for being the lead singer for the punk rock/New Wave band Blondie. She has also had some success as a solo artist. In the mid-1990s she performed and recorded as part of the Jazz Passengers. She has also engaged in an acting career with over 30 film roles and several television appearances to her credit.
Debbie was adopted when she was three months old and brought up in Hawthorne, New Jersey. She attended Hawthorne High School, where she graduated in 1963. Prior to starting her singing career she moved to New York in the late 1960s and worked as a secretary at BBC Radio’s New York office for one year. Later, she was a waitress at Max’s Kansas City, and worked in a Dunkin’ Donuts, after which she was a dancer in Union City, and a Playboy Bunny.
She began her musical career with a folk rock group, The Wind in the Willows. Debbie 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. Debbie and Stein formed the band Blondie in the mid-1970s, naming it for the wolf whistle men often yelled at Harry from passing cars. Blondie quickly became regulars at Max’s Kansas City and CBGB’s 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.
With her two-tone bleach-blonde hair, Debbie quickly became a recognizable icon of punk style. Her look was further popularized by the band’s early presence in the music video revolution of the era.
Debbie entered the Guinness World Book of Records in 1999 as the “Oldest Female Singer to Reach No. 1 in the UK Chart” when Blondie went to number one with “Maria” on February 13, 1999 at the age of 53 years and 227 days.
To date, Debbie has released five solo albums and has starred in many film roles. She made her major motion picture debut in the David Cronenberg film Videodrome. other acting roles include Hairspray (1988), Intimate Stranger; Union City (1980); New York Beat Movie; Rock & Rule (1983); Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990).
She played the role of "Elizabeth" in the FMV-based game Double Switch, which was released for the Sega CD (1993), the Sega Saturn, Apple Macintosh, and Windows 95.
She joined Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Tour 2007 for the Human Rights Campaign. She is a strong advocate for gay rights and gay marriage.