Blondie’s leading lady scored her first number one album 37 years ago today (February 17). To celebrate the iconic frontwoman we’re looking at 25 things you never knew about her. Starting with this: her name at birth was actually Angela Trimble.
Before she joined Blondie, Debbie Harry worked as a secretary at BBC Radio’s NYC office, a waitress, a dancer and a Playboy Bunny.
Debbie Harry’s first band was folk rock group The Wind In The Willows. She later joined a girl-group trio, The Stilettos, in the early ‘70s. It was there she met Chris Stein (the band’s backup guitarist), who would later join Blondie and become her boyfriend.
In 1974, Stein and Harry gathered a few more band members and formed Angel and the Snake. The name changed to Blondie in late 1975.
The band name Blondie came from the catcalls Harry used to receive from men in passing cars.
The band’s first record deal came in early 1976 with Private Stock Records. Their first single, ‘X-Offender’, was released that June, with their self-titled debut album out that December.
Blondie’s first commercial success came in Australia in 1977, when a music television program ‘Countdown’ accidentally played the band’s video for ‘In the Flesh’, which was the B-side of the single ‘X-Offender’. The band have cited this as the initial source for their success.
Harry was listed as one of People Magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful People in the World, Beauty Over 60” list in May 2007.
The iconic singer performed at the closing night of legendary NYC punk club, CBGB’s in 2006.
Debbie Harry made it into the Guinness World Book of Records in 1999, at age 53, becoming the “Oldest Female Singer to Reach No. 1 in the UK Chart” for her single ‘Maria’. She was later replaced by Dame Vera Lynn, who achieved a No. 1 in 2009 at age 92.
Debbie recorded a voice part for the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as a cab dispatcher.
Debbie Harry was considered for the role of Pris in the 1982 film ‘Blade Runner’, but Daryl Hannah was selected instead.
The platinum-haired star has appeared in television commercials for Sara Lee, Revlon, and Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans.
Debbie Harry was friends with Andy Warhol, who painted her portrait on an Amiga (an early computer) at the 1985 Commodore Amiga product launch press conference.
Blondie toured with Iggy Pop in 1977. Debbie Harry also released a cover of his single ‘Ordinary Bummer’ for the 1997 tribute album ‘We Will Fall’, and also recorded a duet with him on the Cole Porter song ‘Well, Did You Evah!’ in 1990.
Blondie’s Grammy-nominated hit single ‘Call Me’ was a collaboration with Italian songwriter/producer Giorgio Moroder, who has also worked on some of Donna Summer’s biggest hits. The song never appeared on a Blondie album, but was on the soundtrack for the film ‘American Gigolo’.
Harry contributed on Fall Out Boy’s 2008 album ‘Folie à Deux’, singing on the chorus of the album’s closer, ‘West Coast Smoker’.
In 1983, Debbie Harry appeared on Broadway with Andy Kaufman in the wrestling-themed play ‘Teanck Tanzi’. The show opened and closed in one night. Later that year, Harry made her major film premiere in ‘Videodrome’.
Debbie Harry has admitted to getting a face lift. She said: “Yeah, I had a facelift years ago. Why not? It gives you all the things you need to be part of the action. I don’t feel like hiding myself away.”
Blondie’s ninth album, ‘Panic Of Girls’, is set to be released in September 2010. Dutch artist Chris Berens, designer of the album cover, revealed on the band’s blog that there will be one track in French and two in Spanish, as well as 3-4 cover songs.
Debbie Harry has said that she would want Michelle Pfeiffer to play her in a film.
Debbie was good friends with the Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols.