The Brooklyn-born, Long Island-bred Debbie Gibson took to the stage at just 5 years old. By the age of 16, Gibson began recording what would end up being a multi-platinum selling album that would change her life forever.
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The high school sophomore signed with Atlantic Records just one month after her 16th birthday and embarked on crafting her debut album, Out Of The Blue.
Gibson, who had rubbed shoulders with Placido Domingo, Renata Tebaldi, and Luciano Pavarotti during her Metropolitan Opera performances at the age of 8, was not your average teenager. She would prove to be more than your average teen pop idol when she penned all ten tracks on Out Of The Blue herself and even co-produced several of the album's cuts, including No. 1 hit, "Foolish Beat," alongside veteran producer Fred Zarr.
“Fred Zarr, who produced and co-produced all those hits with me, he took what I was doing in my garage on the four-track and elevated it to what you heard on the radio,” Gibson shared with Rhino. “He really helped facilitate my vision, fine-tune it, and elevate it, so I really hold him responsible for that sound.”
The starlet also paid tribute to her idol inspirations that influenced the vision behind the blockbuster album. "I mean, I will credit Madonna forever with the way I sang the words ‘out of the blue,’ that little grace note kind of stylized thing that me and every other female singer at the time did. And then I had to eliminate that from my voice for Broadway and learn how to hit a tone just straight."
She continued, "So, you know, I think I was heavily influenced by Madonna and Wham! And I was into shamelessly catchy hooks. I mean, when ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ came out, I was just bouncing off the walls. I just thought that was the greatest thing I’d ever heard, and I wanted to write a hook as good and as memorable…and probably ‘Shake Your Love’ is my equivalent obnoxious/catchy hook!”"
When Gibson released her blockbuster album in August 1987, her years of childhood training paid off handsomely: the title track ascended to No. 3, “Shake Your Love” and "Only in My Dreams" peaked No. 4, while "Foolish Beat" shot the top spot on the charts. The album would achieve triple platinum sales and score No. 7 on the US Album chart, rightfully establishing Gibson as America's new favorite pop princess.