Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Countdown: Women Who Rock - #1, Debbie Harry

#1 - Debbie Harry
of Blondie

No one should be too shocked by this... Coming in at number one is the original (and the best) uber-cool leading lady, Debbie Harry!! For over three decades she has been the voice of Blondie, contributing classics like 'Heart of Glass,' 'One Way or Another,' 'Rapture' and 'Call Me.' She's gone from iconic punk rocker to disco diva to full blown rock star, inspiring millions of women throughout the world along the way. This countdown is a prime example of how inspirational Harry has been and you can see this when you look at women like Shirley Manson, Courtney Love, Karen O, Gwen Stefani, Florence Welch, Beth Ditto, Juanita Stein and Ella Hooper.

Debbie's versatile vocals, natural beauty and incredible sense of style allowed her to rise to prominence in the male dominated punk scene of the 1970s. She was able to adapt enough over the years to maintain a high level of success and adoration from the public, even during the 15 year hiatus between The Hunter (1982) and No Exit (1997). Along with Alanis Morissette, Harry is the highest selling woman on the list, with album sales in excess of 40 million. She is however the only woman on the list to be inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an honour that many rock stars will never have bestowed upon them in their career.

Instead of sitting at home and cashing in on royalties from her back catalogue and the many lame covers other "artists" do of Blondie's songs (eg. Atomic Kitten - 'The Tide Is High' aka bastardisation at its worst), Harry & friends have been back in the studio recording the band's ninth studio album, Panic of Girls, which is to be released this year. They'll also be one of the headliners at next week's Isle of Wight festival alongside The Strokes, La Roux, Crowded House and Vampire Weekend.

Fun Fact: She can rap. Or at least she tries to rap. Rapture is often credited as the first song to reach #1 in the USA with rap vocals. Riiiight.

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