Debbie Harry

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Debbie Harry (2011)

Deborah Ann "Debbie" Harry (born July 1, 1945 in Miami , Florida as Angela Trimble ) is an American singer and actress who became known in 1974 as the singer and songwriter of the new wave band Blondie .


Debbie Harry with Blondie (1977)

Debbie Harry was born as Angela Trimble. Her mother, a concert pianist, gave her up for adoption . Harry was adopted by Richard and Catherine Harry at the age of three months. She grew up in Hawthorne , New Jersey . There she sang in the church choir. According to the ideas of her conservative adoptive parents, she should be a humble and passive girl. Harry wanted to be an artist, however, and resisted everything that her parents set an example for her.

Harry attended Centenary College in Hackettstown . She then moved to New York in the mid-1960s , which she experienced as a break from the conventions of her childhood. There she sought a connection to the underground scene. She lived off jobs as a dancer, beautician and waitress in a Playboy club and at Max's Kansas City . It was a popular place in the art and music scene in downtown Manhattan , where it served Andy Warhol , Jimi Hendrix , Miles Davis , David Bowie , Iggy Pop , Janis Joplin and other greats.

Harry met Chris Stein while she was playing with Elda Gentile and Amanda Jones in the women's band The Stilettos. He grew up in a left-wing Jewish family in New York. Stein took Harry seriously as an intellectual woman and supported her in living her life independently. Stein and Harry were in a relationship for 15 years. They have been friends since then and work together in the band Blondie . In connection with her role as a singer with the band Blondie, Harry developed her punk stage personality as a strong, self-determined woman who is sexy at the same time.

Such an attitude was revolutionary in the 1970s, as women musicians usually presented themselves as victims (e.g. of love) during this time. Harry intentionally avoided this sacrificial attitude to change the image of women. In this sense, she is a pioneer for punk-influenced concepts of feminism such as the sex-positive feminism of the third wave of feminism , which led to new images of women in other music genres such as (e.g. Madonna in Pop, Riot Grrrl ).

Harry was involved in the experimental television show TV Party , which Glenn O'Brien ran with Walter "Doc" Steding between 1978 and 1982 and in which people from the New York punk and art scene such as Mick Jones , David Byrne , Klaus Nomi and Jean -Michel Basquiat participated. She was friends with Andy Warhol . He promoted the band Blondie and made a screen-printed portrait of them.

She also worked on Andy Warhol's TV , a television show that aired on New York Cable TV in 1980. In 1987 she was involved in episode 4 of Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes , a show that Warhol produced for the music channel MTV . In 1985 she appeared with Warhol at a press conference on the introduction of the Commodore Amiga computer , which he used to graphically process a photo of Harry he had just made so that it looked like one of his silkscreen pictures.

While working on her first solo album, Koo Koo , she worked on the cover and two music videos ( Backfired and Now I Know You Know ) with Swiss artist HR Giger . Harry publicly professed her bisexuality in 2014 . In the same year refused Blondie due to the discriminatory Russian laws on homosexuality an invitation from during the Winter Olympics in Sochi to play. Harry lives in New York.


Early years

Musically, Harry started in the late 1960s with the folk band Wind in the Willows, whose only album was released in 1968 on Capitol Records . In the early seventies she came into contact with the emerging punk culture around the CBGB and became part of the scene. She joined the women's band The Stilettos. During this time she also met the guitarist Chris Stein .

1974–1981: Success time with Blondie

Debbie Harry (1979)

In 1974 the two formed the band Angel and the Snake, which was later renamed Blondie and the Banzai Babies and later Blondie . Blondie performed regularly at New York's CBGB , a popular club in the punk scene at the time, and became a top act in the New York art scene.

In 1978 the single Little GTO / Holocaust on Sunset Blvd. from the group New York Blondes. The A-side is a cover version of the old Ronny & The Daytonas hit GTO , sung by Harry. We first heard about Harry, who was still unknown in Germany at the time, from Klaus Harpprecht in 1977 in a report on the American music and theater scene for ZDF .

In the spring of 1979 the formation also made its international breakthrough with the title Heart of Glass . Although Debbie Harry did everything to maintain the image of a punk band with her wild and excessive appearances, because of her activities as a photo model , including for alien creator HR Giger , the band with her as figurehead could no longer be attributed to the anarchic punk scene . Instead, the band became the idol of the New Wave era. Harry's hydrogen-blonde hair quickly became a trademark and was widely copied by fans.

With the start of the music channel MTV in August 1981, Blondie's career experienced a further boost. As one of the first rock bands, Blondie broadcast music videos on MTV and quickly became known to a mass audience.

1981–1997: Solo career and Jazz Passengers

In the summer of 1981 Harry - a little tired of the Blondie image - released her first solo album under the name Debbie Harry. Koo Koo was produced by Nile Rodgers , but received little attention at the time. At the end of 1982, Blondie temporarily separated because individual members focused on their solo careers. Her second album Rockbird followed in the fall of 1986, which u. a. also includes the single and only UK top 10 hit French Kissin 'in the USA . The third work Def, Dumb and Blonde followed in autumn 1989. In mid-1993, Debravation, her fourth and, for the time being, last album as a solo artist was released. As a guest musician she was represented on various productions such as B. 1992 on the album Head On by the post-punk / post-rock band Die Haut .

In the mid-1990s, Harry began working regularly with the band Jazz Passengers . This resulted in the album Individually Twisted , which was released in the summer of 1997. Can also be heard on Bill Wares album Four .

Since 1997: Comeback with Blondie

Debbie Harry (2005)

After Blondie had formed again in 1997, the band returned in the spring of 1999 with the seventh album No Exit and achieved a worldwide chart success with the title Maria . In the summer of 2007 Harry took part in the True Colors Concert Tour with Cyndi Lauper and Erasure in aid of the Human Rights Campaign . In 2007 her new solo album Necessary Evil was released in Germany. In 2018 she recorded songs for the new Chic album with Nile Rodgers . In 2019 she published her autobiography called `` Face it ''.

Acting career

Harry also appeared again and again as an actress. In the John Waters film Hairspray, for example, she embodied a woman who does not shy away from a bomb attack in order to advance her daughter in a dance competition.

In 1997 she played under the director Adam Bernstein in Six Ways to Sunday alongside Norman Reedus as Harry Odum the female lead, which she followed in 2002 in the portrayal of a life-marked mother of a dying woman in My Life Without Me . She also played the role of Niki Brand in the film Videodrome by David Cronenberg . Together with Victor Bockris and Chris Stein, she wrote the book Making Tracks: The Rise of Blondie in 1982 .

Debbie Harry was originally supposed to play the leading female role in the 1982 science fiction film Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott . Due to contractual obligations with the record company in relation to a tour with Blondie, Harry had to refuse the film offer, which the singer later described as the "biggest mistake of my life". Instead, the role went to actress Sean Young .



year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1981 Koo Koo - - - UK6th

(7 weeks)UK

(12 weeks)US
1986 Rockbird - - - UK31

(11 weeks)UK
US97 (13 weeks)
1989 Def, Dumb & Blonde - - - UK12

(7 weeks)UK
1993 Debravation - - - UK24 (2 weeks)
2007 Necessary Evil - - - UK86 (1 week)

gray hatching : no chart data available for this year


year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1988 Once more into the bleach - - - UK50 (4 weeks)
with blondie
1999 The Complete Picture: The Very Best
of Deborah Harry and Blondie
- - - UK3

(22 weeks)UK
with blondie

more publishments

  • 1993: Most of All: The Best of Deborah Harry


year Title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, album , rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1981 Backfired
- - - UK32 (6 weeks)
US43 (10 weeks)
The Jam Was Moving
- - - - US82 (3 weeks)
1983 Rush Rush
Scarface OST
- - - UK87 (3 weeks)
1986 French Kissin 'In The USA
DE28 (10 weeks)
- - UK8 (10 weeks)
US57 (11 weeks)
1987 Free to Fall
- - - UK46 (5 weeks)
In Love with Love
- - - UK45 (5 weeks)
US70 (7 weeks)
1989 I Want that Man
Def, Dumb & Blonde
- - - UK13 (10 weeks)
British Side
Def, Dumb & Blonde
- - - UK59 (5 weeks)
1990 Sweet and Low
Def, Dumb & Blonde
- - - UK57 (3 weeks)
Maybe for Sure
Def, Dumb & Blonde
- - - UK89 (2 weeks)
Well, Did You Evah!
Red Hot + Blue
- - - UK42 (4 weeks)
with Iggy Pop
1993 I Can See Clearly
- - - UK23 (4 weeks)
Strike Me Pink
- - - UK46 (2 weeks)

more publishments

  • 1981: Chrome
  • 1981: Jump Jump
  • 1985: Feel the Spin
  • 1988: Liar Liar (soundtrack to The Mafiosi Bride )
  • 1989: Kiss It Better
  • 1992: Summertime Blues
  • 1997: The Only Way (with Robert Jacks)
  • 1999: I Want That Man "(Almighty Remix)
  • 2007: Two Times Blue
  • 2008: If I Had You
  • 2008: Fit Right In

Guest Posts

year Title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, album , rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
2006 New York, New York
Go - The Very Best of Moby
DE69 (4 weeks)
AT47 (5 weeks)
CH80 (2 weeks)
UK43 (3 weeks)
with Moby

more publishments

  • 1997: Command and Obey (with Groove Thing)

The Wind in the Willows

  • The Wind in the Willows (1968)

The Jazz Passengers

  • Individually Twisted (1997)

Further collaborations


  • 1975: Eiskalt (Deadly Hero)
  • 1976: Unmade Beds
  • 1978: The Foreigner
  • 1980: At night in Union City (Union City)
  • 1980: roadie
  • 1981: New York Beat Movie
  • 1983: Wildstyle
  • 1983: Videodrome
  • 1983: Rock & Rule (voice)
  • 1987: Crime Story (TV series, episode)
  • 1987: Forever Lulu
  • 1987: Tales from the Darkside (TV series, an episode)
  • 1988: Satisfaction
  • 1988: Hairspray
  • 1989: New York Stories (New York Stories)
  • 1989: Fight against the Mafia ( Wiseguy , TV series, three episodes)
  • 1990: Stories from the shadows (Tales from the Darkside: The Movie)
  • 1990: Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme (TV movie)
  • 1991: Monsters (TV series, an episode)
  • 1991: Intimate Stranger (TV movie)
  • 1991: The Real Story of O Christmas Tree (short film)
  • 1993: Tribeca (TV series, episode)
  • 1993: Body Bags (TV movie)
  • 1993: Double Switch (VS)
  • 1994: Rakthavira (short film)
  • 1994: You Know No Mercy (Dead Beat)
  • 1994–1995: Phantom 2040 (TV series, ten episodes, voice of Vaingloria )
  • 1995: Hungry For Love (Heavy)
  • 1995: Sandman (short film)
  • 1996: Drop Dead Rock
  • 1996: Sabrina - Totally Bewitched! ( Sabrina, the Teenage Witch , TV series, one episode)
  • 1997: LA Johns (TV movie)
  • 1997: Cop Land
  • 1997: Six Ways to Sunday
  • 1998: Joe's Day
  • 1999: Zoo
  • 2000: Red Lipstick
  • 2001: The Fluffer
  • 2002: Deuces Wild - Wild in the Streets (Deuces Wild)
  • 2002: Spun
  • 2002: All I Want (Try Seventeen)
  • 2002: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (CS, voice)
  • 2003: My Life Without Me (My Life Without Me)
  • 2003: A Good Night to Die
  • 2003: The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab Story
  • 2003: The Tulse Luper Suitcases: Antwerp
  • 2005: Honey Trap (short film)
  • 2005: Patch (short film)
  • 2005: Pete & Pete (TV series, an episode)
  • 2005: I Remember You Now ... (short film)
  • 2005: A Life in Suitcases
  • 2006: Full Grown Men
  • 2007: Anamorphic - The Art of Killing (Anamorphic)
  • 2008: Elegy or the art of loving (Elegy)
  • 2009: The Mystery of Claywoman (short film)
  • 2011: Pipe Dreams (short film)
  • 2012: Believe the Magic (short film)
  • 2013: Talks Music (TV series)
  • 2014: River of Fundament


  • Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Victor Bockris: Making Tracks. The Rise of Blondie. Da Capo Press, 1998.
  • Steven Lee Beeber: The Heebie Jeebies at CBGB's. The Jewish roots of punk. Mainz 2008, ISBN 978-3-931555-64-1 , Chapter 12, Die Schicksengöttin. Chris Stein creates the first punk princess .
  • Debbie Harry: Face It The Autobiography. Heyne Verlag, 2019, ISBN 978-3453271623 .

Web links

Commons : Deborah Harry  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. [1]
  3. ^ A b Doris Akrap : "No Holocaust - No Punk" In: Jungle World , March 14, 2007.
  4. "Deborah Ann Harry." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014
  5. a b Carrie Havranek: Women Icons of Popular Music: The Rebels, Rockers, and Renegades. Westport CT, Greenwood Press 2009. ISBN 978-0-313-34083-3 , p. 163.
  6. a b c d Dagmar Leischow: "That's what you call a film tear" In: Die Tageszeitung , July 12, 2007 (interview).
  7. Centenary College Honors Deborah Harry as a Distinguished Alumna ( Memento of March 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  8. a b cf. Welt am Sonntag : Matured Blonde , Interview, No. 53, December 31, 2006, p. 75.
  9. Katja Schwemmers: Debbie Harry in Dating Stress. In: n-tv , May 16, 2014.
  10. ^ Mary Cross: Madonna: A Biography. 2007, pp. 20-22, ISBN 0-313-33811-6 .
  11. Excerpt from TV Party , in: Youtube, channel from hijamecanica's channel
  12. ^ A b Nicole Kraak: Queens of Pop - Debbie Harry, documentary, ZDF 2011, 26:30 min
  13. "MusicFIX": "Sick of being victim": Debbie Harry speaks out about feminism. In: MSN NZ. June 2013, accessed on January 1, 2016 (English): “I don't think I tried to be an important feminist, I didn't have that kind of clarity, but I had a stubbornness and an independence and that came across. So that was good. I think that it was an idea that was bound to happen, I was just in the right place at the right time. "
  14. Justin Hopper: I Just Want to Watch. Carnegie Magazine ( June 6, 2014 memento on the Internet Archive )
  15. ^ Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes (1985-1987) Television Series. ( Memento from January 23, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) In: (English).
  16. Excerpt from Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes , in: Youtube, Kanal von Hidden Below
  17. ^ Andy Warhol Digitally Paints Debbie Harry with the Amiga 1000 Computer (1985). In: Open Culture , April 3, 2012 (English).
  18. Martin Schneider: Andy Warhol paints Debbie Harry on an Amiga Computer, 1985. In:, October 22, 2013
  19. Guy Wright, Glenn Suokko: Andy Warhol: An Artist and His Amiga. In: Amiga World, No. 3 (1985), pp. 16–21 ( Memento from February 2, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  20. Robin Densloe: Interview with Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and HR Giger. In: BBC 2, Newsnight, 1981
  21. Ron Kretsch: HR Giger and Debbie Harry interview, 1981. In:, May 13, 2014
  22. Chris Hastings: My 'sensual' nights with women, by Debbie Harry: Blondie star reveals she is bisexual despite relationship with bandmate. In: MailOnline, Daily Mail. April 6, 2014, accessed January 1, 2016 .
  23. Kim Bönte: 15-minute attempt. ( Memento from June 6, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: Jungle World , March 10, 1999.
  24. ^ "New York Blondes: Little GTO"  ( page no longer available , search in web archives ), Rolling Stone Forum, August 14, 2006.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /
  25. Carrie Havranek: Women Icons of Popular Music: The Rebels, Rockers, and Renegades. Westport CT, Greenwood Press 2009. ISBN 978-0-313-34083-3 , p. 171.
  26. Debbie Harry with Nile Rodgers in the studio. Retrieved April 23, 2018 .
  27. 3sat Kulturzeit , TV show (38 minutes) with presenter Ariane Binder , produced by 3sat , ZDF, ORF, SRF, ARD. Mainz , November 14, 2019.
  28. a b c d Chart sources: DE AT CH UK US
  29. Halfway to sanity