Debbie Harry facts: Blondie singer's age, family, partner, songs and career explained

10 July 2024, 16:44 | Updated: 11 July 2024, 10:17

Debbie Harry
Debbie Harry. Picture: Getty

By Tom Owen

Debbie Harry, the iconic lead singer of Blondie, is a true legend in the world of music and pop culture.

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She burst onto the scene in the 1970s with her distinctive voice and captivating presence. Blondie quickly became a staple of the punk and new wave movements, with hits like ‘Heart of Glass’ and ‘Call Me’ cementing their place in music history.

Beyond her music, Debbie’s edgy style and effortless cool have made her a fashion icon. She’s not just a singer; she’s an artist who has dabbled in acting and remains an influential figure in the entertainment industry.

Debbie’s talent and charisma have kept her in the spotlight over the decades, and she continues to inspire new generations of artists and fans alike.

  1. How old is Debbie Harry?

    Debbie Harry in 1968
    Debbie Harry in 1968. Picture: Getty

    Debbie Harry is 78 years old as of 2024, having been born on July 1, 1945.

    She was born in Miami, Florida, but was adopted as a baby and raised in Hawthorne, New Jersey.

    Her adoptive parents, Richard and Catherine Harry, named her Deborah Ann Harry. Richard ran a gift shop, and Catherine was a housewife.

  2. How did she get her start in music and when were Blondie formed?

    From left to right, guitarist Frank Infante, guitarist Chris Stein, bass player Nigel Harrison, singer Debbie Harry, keyboard player Jimmy Destri and drummer Clem Burke
    From left to right, guitarist Frank Infante, guitarist Chris Stein, bass player Nigel Harrison, singer Debbie Harry, keyboard player Jimmy Destri and drummer Clem Burke. Picture: Getty

    Debbie Harry's start in music was quite an interesting journey. In the late 1960s, she moved to New York City and began her career as a backup singer for the folk rock group The Wind in the Willows.

    After that group disbanded, she joined a band called The Stilettos, which is where she met guitarist Chris Stein. The two hit it off, both personally and creatively, and in 1974, they formed Blondie.

    Blondie started performing in the New York punk rock scene, particularly at the legendary club CBGB, which was a hub for many up-and-coming bands of that era.

    With their unique blend of punk, pop, and new wave, Blondie quickly gained a following. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1976, but it was their third album, Parallel Lines, released in 1978, that catapulted them to international fame with hits like 'Heart of Glass'.

    Blondie, alongside Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, featured several talented musicians over the years. The original lineup included Clem Burke on drums, Gary Valentine on bass guitar, and Jimmy Destri on keyboards.

    Clem Burke's energetic drumming and Jimmy Destri's keyboard skills were crucial to Blondie's distinctive sound. Gary Valentine was replaced by Nigel Harrison on bass in 1977, and Frank Infante joined as a guitarist around the same time, adding to the band's dynamic.

    This lineup helped propel Blondie to fame, particularly during their peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

  3. What has she done outside of Blondie?

    Debbie Harry in 2021
    Debbie Harry in 2021. Picture: Getty

    Outside of Blondie, Debbie Harry has had a diverse and successful career. She pursued a solo music career, releasing several albums such as KooKoo in 1981 and Rockbird in 1986.

    Debbie also ventured into acting, appearing in numerous films and TV shows. Some of her notable roles include the 1980 film Union City, the cult classic Videodrome (1983), and the John Waters film Hairspray (1988).

    In addition to music and acting, Debbie has been involved in various artistic projects and collaborations. She's also an advocate for several social and environmental causes, using her platform to raise awareness and support for issues she cares about.

  4. Is she married and does she have kids?

    Debbie Harry and Chris Stein in 1987
    Debbie Harry and Chris Stein in 1987. Picture: Getty

    Debbie Harry has never been married and does not have any children.

    While she had a long-term relationship with Chris Stein, her bandmate in Blondie, they never married. Their relationship was both personal and professional, and although they eventually split up romantically, they remained close friends and continued to collaborate musically.

    Debbie's focus has largely been on her career, and she has often spoken about how her demanding schedule and lifestyle didn't lend themselves to starting a family in the traditional sense.

    She told i: “Honestly, I was so self-centred, it never crossed my mind [to have a child]. I was amazed that anyone would want to have a child. I was so traumatised in a way by the things that happened to us, I don’t know if I could have taken a child through it.”