Deborah Ann "Debbie" Harry (born July 1, 1945) is an American singer-songwriter and actress, best known as the lead singer of the new wave and punk rock band Blondie. She recorded several number one singles with Blondie and is sometimes considered the first rapper to chart at number one in the United States as well, due to her work on "Rapture". She has also had success as a solo artist, and in the mid-1990s she recorded and performed with The Jazz Passengers. Her acting career spans over thirty film roles and numerous television appearances.
Harry was born in Miami, Florida, and adopted by Catherine (Peters) and Richard Smith Harry, gift shop proprietors in Hawthorne, New Jersey. She attended Hawthorne High School, where she graduated in 1963. She graduated from Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey, with an Associate of Arts degree in 1965. Before starting her singing career she moved to New York City in the late 1960s and worked as a secretary at BBC Radio's office there for one year. Later, she was a waitress at Max's Kansas City, a go-go dancer in a Union City, New Jersey, discothèque, and a Playboy Bunny.
In the late 1960s, Deborah Harry began her musical career as a backing singer for the folk rock group, The Wind in the Willows, which released one self-titled album in 1968 on Capitol Records. The group also recorded a second album, which was never released and the studio tapes remain lost.
In 1974, Harry joined The Stilettoes with Elda Gentile and Amanda Jones. Her eventual boyfriend and Blondie guitarist, Chris Stein, joined the band shortly after
After leaving The Stilettoes, Harry and Stein formed Angel and the Snake with Tish and Snooky Bellomo. Shortly thereafter, Harry and Stein formed Blondie, naming it after the term of address men often called her when she bleached her hair blonde. Blondie quickly became regulars at Max's Kansas City and CBGB in New York City. After a debut album in 1976, commercial success followed in the late 1970s to the early 1980s, first in Australia and Europe, then in the United States.