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Debbie Gibson

Deborah Ann "Debbie" Gibson (born August 31, 1970), is an American singer-songwriter who was a teen pop icon. She was popular in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. At the age of seventeen, Gibson was the youngest person to write, produce, and perform a Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit single (in the USA) with her song "Foolish Beat," a title that is now shared with rapper Soulja Boy.

She appeared repeatedly on the covers of teen magazines (in the USA) such as Tiger Beat. She has gone on to starring roles on Broadway and touring musicals, as well as independent film and television work. She continues to record, and reached the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart as high as #24 during 2006 in a duet with Jordan Knight titled "Say Goodbye."

Early life

Gibson was born in Brooklyn, New York. She grew up in the Long Island suburb of Merrick, New York. At the age of five, she began performing in community theater with her sisters and wrote her first song "Make Sure You Know Your Classroom." When she was eight, she sang in the children's chorus at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. She began playing the ukulele and taking piano lessons soon thereafter, including with the noted American pianist Morton Estrin. Gibson has stated that her household was probably the only one where you would hear kids fighting over piano playing time.

Music career


Gibson spent years knocking on doors and handing her demos to every director, agent, and producer with whom she came into contact. Eventually, at the age of sixteen, with the help of manager of Doug Breitbart, she caught the attention of Atlantic Records, and thus began her successful pop music career.

Whilst performing around the United States at nightclub venues, Gibson was also recording what would become her debut album, Out Of The Blue. The album was recorded in a total of 4 weeks.

Four singles from Out Of The Blue reached the Top 5 of the Billboard Top 100: "Only in My Dreams," "Shake Your Love," "Out Of The Blue," and the number-one hit "Foolish Beat," followed by "Staying Together," which performed more modestly, reaching #22. "Foolish Beat" set a record for Gibson, making her the youngest female artist ever to write, produce, and perform on a Billboard number-one single, a record which stands to this day. By the time Out Of The Blue was established as a hit album, and she had considerable success in the UK, as well as in Japan and southeast Asia, with stadium tours.

Throughout 1988 and early 1989, Gibson was racking up studio time recording her second release. Electric Youth was released in March 1989, and spent 5 weeks at #1. The first single released, "Lost in Your Eyes," held the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. Gibson achieved an additional honor of having both a #1 single and album charting simultaneously. She also shared ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Award 1989 with Bruce Springsteen.

In parallel with the album, she created an Electric Youth perfume under Revlon, and various makeup essentials for young girls through Natural Wonder Cosmetics, one of her sponsors at the time, distributed nationwide. Subsequent singles from this album missed the Top 10: Electric Youth (#11),No More Rhyme (#17) and We Could Be Together (#71).


Gibson eventually recorded two more albums for Atlantic Records: Anything Is Possible (1990), and Body Mind Soul (1992). Atlantic compiled Greatest Hits as a 1995 release oddly in conjunction with her release of SBK album Think With Your Heart.

Also during this time, Gibson was part of a supergroup that recorded the charity single Voices that Care which peaked at #11 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

In 1995, she signed with EMI's SBK Records division and recorded what would be her only album for the label, Think With Your Heart. This album is an Adult Contemporary heavy album consisting of piano ballads and keyboard ballads, and is widely considered among her fans to be her best work. The album's producer, Niko Bolas (usually Neil Young's co-producer), was also producing the reunion album for veteran punk band Circle Jerks, and invited Gibson to a recording session for that band's album. She subsequently ended up singing background vocals on the song "I Wanna Destroy You," as well as appearing at and participating in the Circle Jerks' performance at legendary punk venue CBGB, wearing one of the band's t-shirts and sharing a microphone with frontman Keith Morris.

Independent releases

After parting company with EMI, Gibson formed her own record label, Espiritu, to release her original material. Her sixth album, Deborah, marked her full return to dance-pop, albeit with a more mature approach. Deborah includes the lead single "Only Words." "Only Words" (Dance Edit) became a Top 40 Hot Dance Music/Club Play hit. The album's other single is the ballad, "Naturally." Deborah was well received by fans and remains one of her most respected works, though it only sold 20,000 units in the US.

In 2001, Gibson released her seventh album on her then-new record label, Golden Egg, titled M.Y.O.B. (AKA Mind Your Own Business). It features the three singles, the sensual pop song "What You Want," the Latin-infused Dance-pop song "Your Secret," and the bass heavy "M.Y.O.B." Highlights from the album include the sultry Latin favoured Smooth Jazz song "In Blue," her vintage style ballad "Wishing You Were Here," "Jaded," and a remix of "M.Y.O.B." Her single M.Y.O.B. also had the background vocals of her two nieces.

In 2005, Gibson co-wrote and recorded a song titled "Someone You Love" with the O'Neill Brothers. With the O'Neill Brothers, Gibson also released an updated, acoustic version of her former #1 hit "Lost in Your Eyes."

Theater career

Gibson debuted on Broadway in 1992, playing Eponine in Les Misérables. She then went to London, where she played Sandy in the West End production of Grease to sold out shows, breaking box office sales records. The single version of "You're the One That I Want," a duet with Craig McLachlan, taken from the Original Cast Recording, reached #13 on the UK charts in 1993.

On returning to the States, she appeared in the Broadway touring production, this time playing Rizzo. She played Fanny Brice in a revamped Funny Girl tour. She has had many successful theater credits; she was among the many actresses who took on the starring role of Belle in the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast. She replaced Kerry Butler in July 1997 and was in the show until 1998 when she was then replaced by Kim Huber. She also starred the critically lauded production of Gypsy (in a production staged at The Papermill Playhouse). She starred as Louise opposite Broadway legend Betty Buckley. Additionally, she participated in the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, where she played the part of The Narrator, and starred as Cinderella in the national tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's famed musical. In October 2002, she starred in the Boston production of Chicago. In 2003, she played Sally Bowles in the Broadway revival of Cabaret. From March to April 2004, she played the role of 'Marta' in the UCLA Reprise! production of Company.

Gibson will will star as Anna Leonowens in the Cabrillo Music Theatre's upcoming production of the classic Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical The King and I which is scheduled to begin October 17 in the Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Performances will continue through October 26.

Reality TV

In the summer of 2003, Gibson was a judge on the short-lived American Idol spin-off American Juniors.

In January 2006, she joined the cast of Skating with Celebrities on Fox Television, partnered with former Canadian World Champion figure skater Kurt Browning. She was voted out in the third episode.


Controversially for some of her fans who were more comfortable with her earlier wholesome image, the March 2005 issue of Playboy featured a nude pictorial with Gibson, the publication of which also coincided with the release of her single, "Naked." This single peaked #35 on the Billboard "Hot single sales" chart in March 2005.

Following her Skating with Celebrities appearance, she has had a resurgence of popularity in niche markets. Her single "Your Secret" came back from its dormant state and became popular on some radio stations including Super 91.7 WMPH in Wilmington, DE. "Your Secret" has been on their request show, Total Control Radio, for 12 months. "Your Secret" reached #1 on its third week on that station's chart in May 2006. It charted along with a few of her other singles, "M.Y.O.B." and "Only Words" (Dance Edit) which is a Eurodance mix of the song. They all have become recurrent hits on the station since. Total Control Radio

Gibson continues to tour and has become a popular attraction at Gay Pride parades and various charity and music festivals around the US. Her 2006 single, "Say Goodbye," featuring dance-pop artist Jordan Knight, has made a good impression on the Soft AC and Hot AC radio formats, becoming the third-most added single on the format during summer 2006. It debuted at #35 on the Billboard magazine Hot Contemporary chart, peaking at #24 in early September through late November. The same year, Gibson appeared in the independent film Coffee Date with Wilson Cruz and Jonathan Silverman.

November 14, 2006 Deborah released a song to her Official Website called "Famous" is written by Deborah and Tiziano Lugli and produced by T. Lugli. Famous

May 2007 the world premiere of "Electric Youth: The Musical" was unveiled at The Starlight Theatre in Orlando, FL. The musical featured 14 of Deborah's most loved songs and was directed by Dean Parker. Electric Youth Musical

August 2007 Deborah and Frankie Avalon hosted Time Life Presents Dick Clark's American Bandstand 50th Anniversary Collection on August 24,2007 Timelife

September 2007 - Ideas for Camp Electric Youth Deborah started toiling with the idea of creating a camp on the West Coast. She is founder and creator of a children's summer day camp scheduled to open in the summer of 2008. Deborah along with Howard Fine, Cynthia Bain, and others will be teaching and coaching at the camp, to be located in Hollywood, California. Deborah will teach voice lessons and songwriting. Her mother, Diane, will be teaching: managing classes. Other classes offered at this camp will include stand up comedy, acting, musical theatre, camera technique, dance and movement, and stage combat. This is the first camp of its kind in the LA area. Camp Electric Youth

Nov 2007 - Season 1 on Total Pop Star , Andrew Van Slee (producer and judge) along with Deborah and Joey Lawrence(from Blossom) are judges on one of the largest online singing competitions. First season runs Nov 12,2007-May 30,2008. The top 6 contestants will be selected by judges and on June 9,2008 -Top 6 will be announced. On June 14,2008 the Top 6 will be flown to LA . June 16, 2008 - June 20, 2008 the contestants will be in the studio. June 23, 2008 to June 26, 2008 will be final voting on the website for fan voting. Winner Announced on June 29,2008 for a record contract and over $150,000 in prizes. The first season was originally scheduled to wrap up in early 2008 but then extended. Total Pop Star

In January 2008, Gibson announced that she'll revive and perform her 80s hits -- along with her Broadway role songs -- during a three-run week in May 2008 at Harrah's in Atlantic City.

On January 6, 2008, Gibson appeared on Deal or No Deal along with Corey Feldman as part of an '80s special. Deal or No Deal episode

April 2008 is on the cover of Lavender Magazine (Minnesota's GLBT magazine) and is interviewd about her career and upcoming projects Lavender Magazine

On April 15, 2008, Deborah filed a restraining order against a Spanish man who runs a fan club and had been allegedly stalking her since 2002.

On April 24, 2008, Deborah hosted and performed on Spotlightlive 80's Karaoke Experience in NY singing songs such as "Only in My Dreams," "Out of the Blue," "Love Shack" from the B-52's and "9 to 5 (Dolly Parton song)|9 to 5]]" from Dolly Parton. Audience members could sing with Deborah. Spotlightlive

May 4-24, 2008 Deborah performed a successful 3 week engagement at Harrah's Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ entitled Deborah Gibson: Pop Goes Broadway. Shows ran Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 PM and Fridays and Saturdays at 9:00 PM.

July 7-18, 2008 -- Deborah personally produced an elite performing arts summer camp called "Deborah Gibson's Electric Youth" for young performers aged 10-20 -- over 120 talented singers, actors and dancers from around the world attended the camp in Hollywood, CA -- check out for more information on this very successful endeavor.

December 26-30, 2008 -- Deborah will be New York City heading up a five day "Winter Camp" for young performers aged 10-20, which is part of "Deborah Gibson's Electric Youth" -- classes in voice, songwriting, acting, dance, on-camera acting and music theory are being offered -- check out for more details and audition info

Interviews and Media in 2008

Stuck in the 80's

CNN with AJ Hammer on Showbiz


Phily Daily News

Heyman Hustle

OK Magazine

The Daily Journal

Philly Mag

Better Livng

AC Weekly

Interview with Dr Phil on May 27,2008

Courier Post

Lynchburg News


Personal life

Gibson has been romantically linked to English singer-actor Darren Day, American actor Lorenzo Lamas, former Beverly Hills 90210 actor Joey Gian and actor/singer Chris Bruno. In April 2008, she told the 'Stuck in the 80's' podcast that she is in a relationship, but that her boyfriend was not an actor or celebrity. She has never been married and has no children. She lives in Los Angeles.


Studio albums


Charted singles

Year Single Album Peak positions
U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play U.S. AC UK CAN AUS JPN SWI NET
1987 "Only In My Dreams" Out of the Blue 4 12 31 11 6 46
"Shake Your Love" 4 6 7 10 27 19 24
1988 "Out of the Blue" 3 44 16 19 21 71 88
"Foolish Beat" 1 8 9 1 49 10 8
"Staying Together" 21 53 29
1989 "Lost In Your Eyes" Electric Youth 1 3 34 5 8 45
"Electric Youth" 11 3 14 15 17 35
"No More Rhyme" 17 13 59
"We Could Be Together" 71 22 53
1990 "Without You"2 Single only (Japan) 26
"Anything Is Possible" Anything Is Possible 26 48 51 17 63
1991 "One Step Ahead" 18
"In His Mind" 90
"Losin' Myself" Body Mind Soul 86 49
1993 "Shock Your Mama" 74
1993 "You're The One That I Want"
Duet with Craig McLachlan
Grease - The Original London Cast Recording 13
2006 "Say Goodbye"
Duet with Jordan Knight
Jordan Knight - Love Songs 24

Active supporter of charities

  • Pediatric AIDS Foundation
  • The Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • St. Mary's Children & Families Foundation
  • Red Cross Clothes Drive


External links

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