Deborah Ann Gibson was born on August 31, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York and grew up on Long Island. She got her start in the performing arts by acting in community theater with her sisters at the age of five. She began taking piano lessons at the age of five the man who taught Billy Joel, Morton Estrin. Even at that young age her talents were evident. At eight she was part of the children's chorus at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. At the age of twelve she changed her focus from the stage to the recording studio, and started focusing on songwriting.
In 1986, at the age of sixteen, she succeeded in getting her first record contract from Atlantic Records. Her first single (written when she was just
thirteen), "Only In my Dreams", quickly became an international hit. Debbie followed that
initial success with her triple platinum albums Out of the Blue and Electric Youth. Both were listening staples in the late eighties, filled with high energy pop. The singles from Electric Youth did not fair as well as her earlier hits, and she began to fade from the recording spot light.
During her early career, Debbie Gibson was often compared to many of the other teenaged pop stars that were
peaking at the same time, particularly Tiffany and New Kids on the Block. What set Debbie
apart from the others was that she was not only just the voice on the song. Her
talents went beyond singing, and she wrote many of her own songs, and often had significant
influence on the entire recording process. In 1988 she became the youngest person ever to perform, produce and write a number one hit in with her single "Foolish Beat."
This is a distinction that she still holds.
After a disappointing third album (Anything is Possible), she returned to her theater roots, playing Eponine in the Broadway production of Les Miserables. Although she continued with her recording
career (releasing new albums in 1993, and 1995), her focus continued to be on the stage.
She stared as Sandy in London's production of Grease and returned to
the U.S. to play Betty Rizzo in a touring company's presentation of the same
play.. She has additionally appeared in a number of other musicals, including Beauty and the Beast, Gyspy and Funny Girl. As she has matured, so has her musical style - evolving from teen bubblegum pop, to a much more adult sounding style.
Most people who grew up in the 1980's will always remember her as the teenaged girl from her first two albums. Songs like "Shake Your Love", "Only in My Dreams", and "Electric Youth" were extremely catchy, and even after all these years just mentioning them brings back lots of memories of growing up. As an actress, she has a great stage
presence as well as a strong and beautiful voice that helps brings a lot to her roles.
Currently (September 2002), she is playing the role of Velma Kelly in a touring production of Chicago. There is also a greatest hits album that focuses on her music from the eighties. This is a great way for people who grew up listening to her to recapture some of that
nostalgia. My musical tastes have changed more than her style since the
late eighties, and I've never been able to get into some of her later albums. I
do think former fans would appreciate her as an actress, and it's worth going to
see her if she happens to be performing nearby.
Information from Deborah Gibson's official site (www.deborah-gibson.com), VH1, and deb.org