When it comes to punk icons, Debbie Harry is definitely high on the list. For 50 years, she’s been the frontwoman for the band Blondie, which has combined new wave, punk, rap, and other genres during the decades since it was formed. While the band is best known for songs that came out during its heyday in the 1970s and early ’80s—”Rapture,” “Heart of Glass,” and “Call Me” amongst them—they remain active today and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
At 76 years old, Harry is still recording music, performing live, and inspiring the latest generation of rock stars. Read on to find out more about what the music legend is doing today.
She’s been releasing music regularly.
Blondie disbanded from 1982 to 1997, but since getting back together, they’ve released five more albums. Their latest, Pollinator, came out in 2017. Harry has also released five solo albums, four of which debuted while Blondie was broken up. The fifth, Necessary Evil, was released in 2007.
When Pollinator was released, Harry spoke to Harper’s Bazaar about her thoughts on the current music landscape. “One thing I object to: When people stop going to clubs at a certain age and say there’s no good music now,” she said. “This always shocks me. There is so much good music.”
She has an acting career, too.
Harry began acting in films in the ’70s, and was in the movies Videodrome and Hairspray in the ’80s. Her most recent onscreen appearances were in the TV series Difficult People and High Fidelity and in the music video for Halsey‘s song “Nightmare.”
In a 2019 interview with The Guardian, Harry said she’d like to have “a real serious role in film or in TV,” but qualified that desire as “sort of wishful thinking.”
She wrote a memoir.
Harry published her memoir, Face It, in 2019. Along with sharing anecdotes about her career, she shares harrowing personal stories, including being sexually assaulted years ago when her house was robbed.
“I didn’t have any high hopes or expectations,” she told Spin of the book in 2021. But, she added, “I think maybe I would have gone a little deeper within myself because I tend to, as they say, move on. I’m sensitive, but yet I’m tough. I want to live through things and move on.”
She has no plans to stop working.
In her interview with The Guardian, Harry said, “I’m always coming up with ideas. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be working, but I enjoy it—it’s my life, and people still want to see me. I’m very lucky, and I think I know it more and more.”
She shared similar thoughts about aging in a 2019 interview with NME. “If you’re a musician and you want to keep working, that’s really up to you,” she said. “But I mean, there’s always been a prejudice against age and aging and that has to do with survival. It’s an animal instinct, I think. But our ideas of vitality and age are changing with everything else, because we’re living better, we’re living longer.”