Happy birthday Debbie Harry! Today, the Blondie front woman and Queen of Punk, turns 70.
Born in New York City and rising to fame in the 1970s punk scene, Debbie Harry dominated the music industry. A staunch feminist, Harry helped to change the image of women in bands, alongside her contemporaries, Patti Smith and Siouxsie Soux.
During the bands heyday, Harry sat for Andy Warhol at The Factory and he created the iconic silk screen of the singer’s face.
As a teenager, Harry famously escaped from the car of serial killer, Ted Bundy, saying that he had offered her a lift. “Once in the car, I noticed that there were no door handles on the inside, which made me wary. I don’t know how, but I managed to put my hand through the window and open the door from outside.”
Pre-Blondie, Harry tried her hand at painting, singing in a folk group and worked for almost a year as a Playboy bunny.
In 1974, she met guitarist, Chris Stein, and the two formed Blondie. The subversive band produced a pop-punk sound that merged genres from disco, to rap and reggae. The 1981 song, rapture, was the first rap song to make it to number one in America. To date, Blondie have sold more than 40 million records.
Harry and Stein dated for a long time, and were undoubtedly punks coolest couple, writing and performing hit songs together.
In 1989, the couple split – reportedly because Stein wanted a family and Harry didn’t. harry later told Kirsty Walk on Desert Island Discs: “Sometimes I regret not having kids. But I guess motherhood is not a way of survival for me as it is for many women.”
The pair remain very close. In 1999, Stein got married and Harry is godmother to his two children.
Harry has since dated both men and women.
Today, Harry is still a force to be reckoned with in the music industry, with no thoughts of retiring…and why the hell should she.
Here, Stylist celebrate her birthday with the singers best, and most badass quotes.
"I could be a housewife... I guess I've vacuumed a couple of times."
"I don't mind if my skull ends up on a shelf as long as it's got my name on it."
"How can one be a woman and not be a feminist? That's my question."
"Nothing much has changed since the Seventies. Women need to shrug off the criticisms, as I did back in the day."
"I have a lot of regrets, but I'm not going to think of them as regrets."
"I wish I had invented sex."
"Ageing happens differently for a lot of people. All I can say is, I'm a lucky fucking bitch."
"I'm not as perky as I used to be...but my bosoms are still pretty good."
"The only person I really believe in is me."
"You always fall for the rascal or the guy who's got a little bit of the devil in him. You can't help it."
On beauty...the music industry...
"I wasn't going to be told by my record company how to look."
"The only place left for rock to go is toward more girl stars. There's nothing left for men to do. There's bound to be more male stars, but they can't express anything new."
Images: Rex Features