Why are they famous: Debbie Harry
Sunday 22 November 1998
The greatest sex goddess pop icon the world has yet seen, or a strange ageing has-been disproportionately beloved of parents, teachers and thirtysomething anoraks, depending on your generation. Debbie Harry, Andy Warhol's favourite ever pop star, was lead singer with New York Seventies band Blondie, purveyors of such hits as "Heart of Glass", "Call Me" and "Atomic". With her milk- and-cookies vocal cords, her candied growl, a slapdash way with peroxide and the world's most perfectly formed cupid's bow, she was the heroine of a whole generation of carefully bleached wannabes and hormonal youths. Re-formed after 15 years, Blondie is currently touring Britain, featuring Harry at 53. An album will be released in February. Get ready for the sad retro screams and half-hearted pogo leaps of a nation of 35-year-olds.
Cartoon cat girl. Earth-shattering beauty meets underwashed groupie. Stronger solution of Amanda Donohoe, Samantha Janus, Michelle Pfeiffer and then some. South Park dwarf meets Fifties sex siren.
Debbie was role model to a generation of female recording artistes from Madonna to Courtney Love, spawning bleach-happy members of the school of desperate imitation along the way. Though a raving beauty, she tended to dress in bin liners, Scout outfits or scuffed heels.
Our heroine was adopted and brought up in the obligatory small US town, baton twirling and dreaming that Marilyn Monroe was her mother. A freezing East Village boho existence of rats and drugs, poverty and hopeless bands followed. She lived with co-Blondie member Chris Stein, worked as a Playboy bunny and waitressed in Warhol hangout Max's Kansas City. Her rough tough past forever secured a seam of pure cred.
Into the bleach
Blondie was eventually formed and was ritually ignored until its punk- disco infusion took over the world's charts.
Debbie's solo albums have veered from dire experimentation to pleasant pop, while her jazz singing boasts a small cult following secretly gagging for "Heart of Glass". One Blondie album is bound to sell thousands to the thirtysomethings. After that, Debbie could turn art house superstar, start a drag queen advisory service, or become a Goodwill Ambassador. We love Debbie Harry.
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