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Debbie Harry: I could have been Madonna

Debbie Harry thinks she could have 'been Madonna' if she’d worked harder.
With her edge style and daring on-stage outfits, the Blondie frontwoman is often cited as a precursor for today’s major music icons including Rihanna and Lady Gaga.
Despite her legendary status as a musician, the 65-year-old star says she would have been able to achieve the same levels of fame as Madonna if she had put more thought into her long-term plan. Debbie thinks the American star – often nicknamed the Queen of Pop – is clearly more driven than her, an idea which was compounded when they met.
'Did I ever meet her? Yes. I worked with Mary Lambert [film-maker who directed Madonna’s Like A Virgin and Material Girl videos] on my hit I Want That Man video. She took me to Madonna’s birthday party. But we are from totally different ways of thinking,' she said in an interview with Q magazine. 'She is so totally career-orientated and showbiz-minded. I missed the boat on that one. If I had thought more I would probably have been Madonna before she was.'
Despite their differences, Debbie considers Madonna an exceptional artist. However, there are many other artists she’s been even more impressed with.
'She had some really great songs. She’s a great performer and a great dancer. Anyone who has that determination and drive, you have to give them credit. But she wasn’t my favourite,' she added.

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Michael McMahon

Debbie Harry is far more talented, beautiful, and classy than Madonna could ever hope to be. I like a lot of Madonna's music, but her voice and presence as an artist never came close to touching my soul the way Debbie Harry's has. Madonna sold more records for the reason Debbie stated, but that doesn't make her statement about being a Modonna before Madonna. In fact, with proper management and if she hadn't stunted her career to help her deathly I'll band mate, and boyfriend, I believe Debbie would have been even better. Debbie Harry is a much higher class of artist, and human being.


God what whining Madonna bitches! Debbie has a sense of humour always has, on the other hand Madonna never has. Do you really believe all you read? seems all Madonna fans do. Debbie was in a band a rock/pop band, Madonna a solo pop artist. They are from different era's in music, style, etc. Madonna I have seem with my own two eyes and ears Madonna say she was only influenced by one woman in music and that was Debbie Harry because she was smart in control and a inspiration to me. Debbie has nothing bad to say about Madonna and when she speak she speaks from a personal point of view. I'm sure she never brings up Madonna in a interview only when asked about her by reports ready to twist it all in their reports for all the gullable out their Also Debbie and Souixsie Souix are very close friends so why make a deal about it. I don't know what you're on to say you never seen Blondie as Punk/New? They where at the birth of punk/New wave in the very beginning Where do you think punk started it started in America and exported to the UK punk scene a few years later. Debbie was an amazing original all through the 70s and 80s and thank god for that. Who ever you like its your choice but don't slag originality be glad they made their mark. Debbie has always martyred for the female artist and supported them. Debbie has never been a bitter person and always been real.


I love both of these women and had posters of both on my walls when I was growing up. I find that Debbie, as was said before, just didn't have enough of what was needed to be the kind of star that Madonna is. She has no rhythm, which is a huge factor considering that women with rhythm have an advantage to women without it. She was also more reserved about her sexuality, which is a disadvantage. Debbie made the splash she made because she was beautiful and talented, but to be on the level of Madonna she would've needed more. Although, I must say, Blondie's music was awesome due in a huge part to the lyrics written by Debbie. She was amazing. And they weren't lyrics that were repeated over and over. She was a poetic punk and she gave us some amazing songs.


For me, this sums up everything:

Debbie Harry: I could have been Madonna

Hail the Queen, Madonna....


it was tvam,sorry-not gmtv-just you tubed


madonna has actually said debbie harry was an inspiration-in an interview on gmtv in 1990(??),shes asked who she used to admire growing up-she replies 'when i first started out i was inspired by debbie harry'.xxx


"Obviously she has some regrets."

No kidding. Blondie had a manager who basically ripped them off and Debbie Harry and her then-partner Chris Stein ended up broke and totally addicted to heroin by the time Blondie broke up. I think most of us would have some pretty serious regrets in her shoes. Credit to her for picking herself up again.


NEW YORK IS OVER!!! O-V-E-R........OVER!!!


I love Debbie and Blondie, but she was not a favorite female from the punk/new wave era..that would be Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and The Banshees...totally intelligent and original music and so many different styles ...a huge gay, goth, and punk following...underated but influencial. I laugh when I hear gay "alternative" people go on and on about Debbie and some diss Madonna. Sorry, Debbie was just as pop if not more so than Madonna...also Madonna to me was much more edger than Debbie. Commercial success and mainstream drive aside, Madonna constantly pushed the envelope and to me her attitude more "punk" than most. Madonna cited Debbie as an influence, Debbie has never said anything really negative about Madonna but I hear an tinge of bitterness that I find distasteful.


Madonna never cited Debbie as an inspiration, Madonna looked toward the more classic female icons such as Garbo, Bette Davis and Monroe. If anything she had her eyes set firmly on becoming the next Cher or Chrissie Hinde, women who could either sing, act or dance. In my opinion Madonna surpassed all others to become the global icon and living legend that she is today and which all other females post her, now look up to. Nobody talks of being inspired by Kylie for example or wanting to be like J-lo.... Todays pop stars desperatley try to emulate Madonna and focus on her work ethic of re-invention and control of image, career and business. Thats where Madonna and Debbie differ greatly, Debbie was an "it" girl of her time, a product of the 70's and 80's disco'/punk hybrid chic. She suffered greatly from mismanagement and poor control over her career with bad choices with regard to royalties etc. Madonna became a global corporation!, a business woman! And this wasnt because of others, sure tey helped but Madonna did it all her on way and on her own terms, Its that which so many other artists now strive for, Madonna has become the ideal, what every superstars try to replicate, you only have to observe GaGa, she's read the Madonna life bible and played it to her own advantage to the full.

As much as i love debbie and her Blondie days, she never changed the face of pop music the way Madonna did. the only simlarities for me were bottle blonde hair.


Debbie Harry is still talking about this after all these years? Obviously she has some regrets. I do like Debbie but she does not have a lot of spunk. She is more mild and mellow while Madonna is spicy and wild and I think Madonna appeals to fans of music and dance more for that... Plus Madonna just has more talent all around.


Debbie Harry sounding a bit bitter. Its a bit silly to say she could of been another Madonna, when the fact is she didn't work as hard and didn't open as many doors to women. I love Debbie, but I think in this interview she sounds a bit jealous!

angel love

Brian, I was going to mention the same thing you did....that Debbie Harry did take time off to nurse her boyfriend/bandmate in the early 80's. She and Madonna were playing the same clubs at that point in time. So while Debbie was out of the scene, Madonna just had more of the spotlight available to her, and she worked it for all its worth. We can't blame a girl for working hard. Life just happens. Blondie is still legendary too. I respect her as an artist too, and have enjoyed going to a couple of Blondie shows. :)


I love Madonna - of course! - but Debbie was my original and is still my personal favourite! I still play both Blondie and Debbie's entire back catalogue regularly even now.

Sadly, this article doesn't make reference to the fact that Debbie nursed Chris Stein for many years through his illness and, in my book, arguably sacrificing her career for her long-term love makes her even more special in my eyes.

Although I am gay, I still had a kind of crush on Debbie and my bedroom walls were plastered with posters of this gorgeous woman. I will never forget how gorgeous, sexy and ethereal she looks in the video for "Presence, Dear".

I saw Debbie play GAY in the 90s and I was also lucky enough to see Madonna play the same venue in the 00's - I have to say that M won that one hands down! 'Confessions on a GAY Dancefloor' was just the best thing I ever saw at that club... at any club!

Debbie - you will always rock for me, though! Luvs ya! :-*


Debbie Harry Is excellent. I don't know if the 70s would have 'allowed' a Madonna though, if you catch my drift. Madonna needed MTV,sex,dance music etc to become who she was today. Those things weren't really on offer to Debbie. I see her as the prequel to Madonna in some ways though - without Debbie there maybe wouldn't have been a Madge.


Mary first did Madonna's Borderline video, so yes, I agree with Debbie, she should work harder and put more effort into her craft. What an odd thing to say. In truth, the public does have a say in who they elevate to a level such as Madonna's. And to put it bluntly, Debbie Harry was never going to be as big as Madonna. Madonna is Madonna.... Period.


I would love to know who her favorite is/was. Give it a few more years Debbie and you will come to realize, just like everyone else, that MADONNA is the favorite. I remember reading an article with MADONNA, she said she remembers a lot of artist in the 80's that would have a few hit songs but would fade away after awhile because they were lazy. Looking back how true was that? Lazy is one word that cant not be used to discribe MADONNA.

Gilbert U.

When will this beotch (Debbie Harry) stop whining about Madonna having a longer career and more fame than her? Don't get me wrong, I like many of Blondie's songs, but she's always trying to say something negative about Madge over and over again. What she needs to say is "all I thought about was partying, getting laid and doing mediocre performances and that is why I ended up at the back of the bus".


Oh Debbie you only wish you could be like her. She is pretty extraordinary. I must admit, there is no one like her. A brilliant and interesting artist. What she is and lacks and how she uses it all, makes her a genius!!


She wishes.

francesco piva

Finally Debbie admits tha if she chose her career over drugs she could have given us much more.... but who are we to judge?

NYC was such a complete different state of mind.... people had nothing back then and all in a sudden went rich...

I miss the old new york but unfortunately as an artist now I live on the upper east side as it is cheaper than living in the east village....

god bless those women

ps madonna we live few blocks away... just saying ha ha ha

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