Debbie Harry, born Angela Trimble, was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe. Because she was adopted, in her imagination she was the actress’s biological daughter (an urban legend has followed her trajectory as some biographers know that Marilyn would have put a baby up for adoption when she was young, around the time of Debbie’s birth, but there is no relationship between both). In common, platinum blonde and a natural sensuality enchanted generations. Marilyn in film and Debbie in music.
Lead singer of the band Blondie, one of the most successful American punk-rock groups of the 1970s, Debbie was copied and adored. Her face, immortalized by her friend Andy Warhol, is one of the best-known and most reproduced pop icons of all time. And it was made precisely under the inspiration of the painting he made of Marilyn Monroe.
The band emerged in 1976 when Debbie and guitarist Chris Stein met. They played on the New York indie circuit, which included CBGB. They soon managed to get signed to a record label and Heart of Glass helped them gain notoriety.
Quickly Debbie Harry became one of the most famous and admired women in the world, a frequent figure at parties, Studio 54, and magazines. Wonderful, she had style and charm, but drugs, drinks, and jealousy of the attention around the singer caused the group to break up in 1982.
It was about the same period when Chris Stein developed a rare autoimmune disease. Debbie remained with him, but seven years later, when he wanted to get married and have children, she broke up with him. They remain friends and professional partners to this day (she is godmother to his daughters).
In 1997, Blondie returned (with different formations), and her last album was released in 2017, a year before Debbie’s biography, Face It. In 2020 they had announced a new tour, but it was postponed because of the pandemic.
I saw them perform in New York, in 2009, at the reception of the exhibition Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present, the video below.
The style and talents of Debbie Harry, who turns 76 in July 2021, must always be remembered. It was unique.
And a playlist