Deborah Ann ‘Debbie’ Gibson was born on August 31, 1970. She spent her childhood days in Merrick, New York. At an early age, Debbie had already exhibited her inclination towards music. This was the reason why Debbie’s parents decided to enroll her in music classes under the famous American pianist, Morton Estrin. Her enrollment was done when Gibson was only five years old. Debbie learned a lot from Mr. Estrin’s class; at the age of six, she had already composed an original song entitled ‘Make Sure You Know Your Classroom.’
Besides attending Mr. Estrin’s class, Debbie also joined a children’s choir to improve her singing skills. Debbie’s choir usually performed at the Metropolitan Opera House. Debbie also loved acting, which was just one reason why she joined several local theater plays at the age of five.
Debbie also asked her parents to build a temporary studio in their garage so that she could use the space to make her spare time productive. Inside this makeshift studio, Debbie wrote and recorded several songs. One of the original songs that helped her gain popularity at a young age was ‘I Come From America.’ Debbie received $1,000 for this song after winning a songwriting competition. After winning the competition, Debbie’s parents decided to sign a contract with Doug Breitbart, who then became Debbie’s manager.
Debbie Gibson’s signature song ‘Foolish Beat’ made her one of the most famous singers in the 80s. This song also secured her a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Debbie signed her first recording contract with Atlantic Records when she was in high school. Her debut album, ‘Out of the Blue’, was released in August 1987. Debbie’s single ‘Foolish Beat’ was her first Billboard number one hit song (she was just 17 years old at the time), making her one of the most sought-after popstar singers in the 80s.
This success also helped Debbie get a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest music artist ever to write, produce, and perform a Billboard number one song. Meanwhile, her song ‘Only in My Dreams’ also peaked at number four in Billboard Hot 100. The song ‘Shake Your Love’ was also another hit as it ranked number four in the U.S. Billboard. With the public’s overwhelming support, Debbie’s debut album reached triple platinum in the United States.
Despite her busy schedule, Debbie continued her studies. In 1988, she graduated from Calhoun High School with flying colors and with the title of an honor student.
On January 24, 1989, Debbie released her second album, ‘Electric Youth.’ This album was Debbie’s highest-charting album, staying on top of the US Billboard 200 albums for five weeks. Meanwhile, in the U.K., this album ranked eighth on the music charts.
The following year, Debbie released her third studio album entitled ‘Anything Is Possible.’ Unfortunately, this album did not become a hit. This was Debbie’s first album that did not enter the top 10 of the Billboard 200 Albums. ‘Anything Is Possible’ just peaked at number 41 in the U.S. However, outside the U.S. and particularly in Japan, this album got better support from the public. It ranked number 5 in Japan and was awarded a Gold record status.
From 1993- 2010, Debbie released six studio albums but none of these became a hit. After these ‘failed’ albums, Debbie decided to take a hiatus. She spent more time doing stage plays and even appeared in Broadway shows, with her most notable roles being in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (1997), and ‘Gypsy’ (1998).
In 2001, Debbie released a new single entitled ‘What You Want’ under her seventh studio album ‘M.Y.O.B.’ Two years after this, Debbie released the ‘Colored Lights: The Broadway Album,’ which included nine classic theatre musicals plus one original piece that she composed herself.
Debbie’s last studio album, ‘Ms. Vocalist’, was released exclusively in Japan in November 2010. In this album, Debbie sang English covers of Japan’s most popular male-oriented songs. Aside from nine studio albums, Debbie also released seven compilation albums from 1995- 2017. In her entire career as a professional singer, Debbie produced two songs that topped the U.S. Billboard; ‘Foolish Beat’ in 1988 and ‘Lost In Your Eyes’ released in 1989.
Other than singing, Debbie was also busy and somewhat successful in her TV and movie appearances. During the course of her acting career, she appeared in eight movies. Aside from this, she also served as a judge for the Nickelodeon reality music show ‘America’s Most Musical Family.’ In September 2018, Debbie top-billed Hall Mark Channel’s ‘Wedding of Dreams,’ a sequel of the 2016 movie, ‘Summer of Dreams.’
Gibson did face many setbacks in her career, but her fame also brought several problems. Over the course of her career, she’s been a target for stalkers. One of these was Robert Bardo, who was convicted for the murder of Rebecca Schaeffer (an actress) in 1989. Bardo had several pictures of Gibson and Tiffany in his house. The latter is also a known musician who gained fame for the song ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’.
Other than the outright stalkers, Gibson also received several emails, faxes, and letters from a man named Michael Falkner. A taxi driver named Jorge Puigdollers had also stalked Gibson for several years before she was forced to file a restraining order. However, she failed to show up for the hearing, so the case was dismissed.
Debbie’s achievements in the entertainment industry were exceptional. Her successes have made her a sort of evergreen superstar, with many fans still adoring her work and wanting more. According to many sources, the main reason behind her fame and success is her genuine love for music. While she did have her share of struggles, it seems like she’s holding out quite well now.