Pop icon Debbie Gibson, who took the music world by storm in the 1980s at the age of 16, is gearing up for her encore tour starting later this month for her album, “The Body Remembers.”
As a singer, songwriter and producer, Gibson produced massive hits such as “Foolish Beat,” “Lost in Your Eyes” and “Electric Youth,” becoming a pop princess who topped the charts decades before today’s music royalty.
With her mother by her side fighting to protect her voice, Gibson broke through the barriers of being young and female, producing and recording her own songs and albums with creative control. Her first album, “Out of the Blue,” produced five hit singles and sold over 5 million copies.
Gibson’s focus later shifted to Broadway performances where singing and hitting belty notes consistently every night required a different skill set. She starred in 17 musicals over 17 years, including “Les Miserables” and “Grease,” but her health began to deteriorate.
Gibson experienced various symptoms such as joint pain, brain fog and memory loss, which eventually made it impossible for her to function normally. At one point, she even thought her life was over.
She would later discover that she had Lyme disease after being infected by a tick.
“I felt so validated when I got that diagnosis. I also learned that for me, Lyme disease was also a wakeup call that some things in my life were not in harmony. I had to really rearrange my priorities and my life,” Gibson said.
In 2021, Gibson released “The Body Remembers,” her first pop album in 20 years. She said the title refers to how the body remembers various experiences, such as love, loss, illness and physical victory.
Gibson, now 52, wrote the songs in what she calls her “happy place” at her bedazzled piano once owned by Liberace.
“For the album ‘The Body Remembers,’ I’d often just come sit and ideas would just kind of flow out,” she said.
Despite her long and successful career, Gibson is still surprised that she is the youngest artist ever to write, produce and perform a No. 1 song.
“I’m always saying to young girl budding songwriters that I meet, ‘Please break my record.’ You just gotta be younger than 17,” she said.
In her upcoming music video with a ’70s theme, Gibson cast some of her lifelong fans, who proudly call themselves “Debheads.” As she gets older, Gibson said the feeling of creating music never fades.
“Showbiz, it keeps me young,” she said. “All I ever wanted to do as a kid was sing and dance and play dress-up and entertain. And I’m doing it, and doing it all these years later. I mean, I’m doing it, people.”