Monday, December 9, 2013

Debbie Gibson, The #82 Female Artist of the Rock Era

Debbie was born in Brooklyn, New York and began performing in community theater with her sisters and cousin at age five. At the age of eight, she sang in the children's chorus at the Metropolitan Opera House. Gibson began playing ukulele and taking piano lessons shortly after.

In 1987, Gibson began performing in nightclubs in the United States and recorded what would become her debut album, Out of the Blue, in four weeks. Her first single made fans and music professionals take notice--it hit #4, remained a bestseller for 28 weeks and sold over one million copies.

"Shake Your Love" matched the #4 ranking of "Only In My Dreams".

Debbie's next single made it 3-for-3 for Top 5 singles, peaking at #3 in 1988.

Gibson set an all-time record in 1988. When "Foolish Beat" went to #1, Debbie became the youngest artist in history (at age 17) to write, produce and perform a #1 song.

Gibson was hot throughout the world, filling stadiums in the U.S., U.K. and southeast Asia. By the end of 1988, Out of the Blue had gone triple platinum.  In October, Gibson sang the U.S. National Anthem for Game One of the Major League World Series.  The album Electric Youth was released to capitalize on the momentum, and it yielded not only another #1, but her biggest career hit, "Lost In Your Eyes".  It too went Gold, and gave Debbie another notable achievement--she became the first female to have both an album and single simultaneously at #1.

Although her next single just missed the Top 10 (#11), it too passed the million mark in sales.

Gibson shared the ASCAP Songwriter of the Year with Bruce Springsteen in 1989.  Debbie was nominated for Best Pop Female Vocalist at the American Music Awards and for Favorite Female Musical Performer at the People's Choice Awards  Electric Youth went Double Platinum.  Debbie created a perfume called Electric Youth that was distributed by Revlon.  It seemed like nothing could go wrong.  Yet "Electric Youth" was her final Top 15 record.  

She recorded two more albums for Atlantic before moving to EMI and subsequently forming her own label, Espiritu.  Gibson debuted on Broadway in 1992 in Les Miserables.  She then went to London and starred as Sandy in Grease.  Gibson has also starred in touring musicals, such as Funny Girl, Beauty and the Beast and Chicago, and has gotten into independent film and television work. In 2010, her single "I Love You" hit #1 in Japan:

Gibson sold 5.5 million albums in her career, and enjoyed nine Top 40 hits, with five reaching the Top 10 and two #1 songs.

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