With the music industry of the 21st century being one in which pop stars are ‘made’ rather than ‘discovered’, today’s young artists have the ability to sing, but are forced to become brands more than they are icons. Marketability has, in many ways, replaced organic talent as the desirable quality in performers. It’s been quite a while since a true “Triple Threat” has been in the spotlight.
It’s impossible to look at America’s record of true artists without looking to Deborah “Debbie” Gibson, one of the true gems of music. As the “Original Pop Princess”, she can more aptly be described now as the Queen of the 80s, having revolutionized the music industry of the decade and leaving her influence on pop music since then.
The 41-year old singer, dancer, actor and philanthropist is now adding yet another role to her resume: businesswoman.
On February 19th, Gibson will be teaming up with eight other female celebrities on Team Forte on the fifth installment of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice against the nine-man strong Team Unanimous [Full Cast List] for a season of challenges that tackle the celebrities’ networking, organizing and fundraising prowess.
Despite venturing into uncharted territory (no, not Donald Trump’s hair), Gibson has never met a challenge she didn’t tackle head on. At age 17, Gibson’s number 1 hit, “Foolish Beat” made her the youngest female artist to write, record and produce a chart-topper. She still holds that title today. In 2005, at 34 years of age, Gibson even did a nude shoot for Playboy (they had been asking her to do so, since her 18th birthday, reportedly). With nine studio albums to her name (the first two of which were certified triple- and double-platinum, respectively), she shows no signs of letting up, despite her appreciation for her life outside of the studio.
I had the opportunity to interview Debbie Gibson about what fans can expect from her on the upcomingCelebrity Apprentice season, and some reflections on her own career and the present music industry…