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Debbie Harry Says Young Women in Music Are Inhibited by Scrutiny

  • Debbie Harry said that young women in modern music face scrutiny that stalls their creativity.
  • The Blondie front woman spoke to The Sunday Times about touring and adversity in her career.
  • Harry also said female musicians used to be “feistier” as they broke down boundaries for women.

Blondie front woman Debbie Harry said she thinks young women in the modern music industry face judgment that “is so inhibiting to creativity.”

In an interview with The Sunday Times’ Dan Cairns, Harry spoke about overcoming sexism during the height of Blondie’s popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. Blondie is currently on a US tour after a 15-year hiatus, the publication reports.

Harry said she’s thankful that Blondie came on the scene before social media was around because young women in music today deal with so much criticism.

“I don’t think the objectification would bother me as much as the scrutiny, which is so inhibiting to creativity, or the discovery of anything within yourself,” she told the outlet.

The singer also said that female artists had to be especially scrappy in the late 20th century because they were ushering in a new era of music.

“We were feistier back then. We were coming out of this whole period of the ‘good old boys’, so we had a real sense of mission,” Harry said. “If you look at any of the girls from that period they had a tremendous amount of attitude. I always felt more comfortable having to fight for it.”

Debbie Harry sings in a microphone in a blue sequin top

Debbie Harry of Blondie performs on July 28, 1979 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tom Hill/WireImage


Blondie may have risen to fame without the help of the internet, but she said the time she spent in New York City starting in the late 1960s was almost similar to cyberspace.

“What was going on in New York was so immediate. It was almost like having our version of the internet because the city was so confined. We all sort of knew things very quickly,” she continued. “That had a lot to do with the impact of the things coming out of New York. It was located in this very small area; you could go to every club in one night.”

Even though she wouldn’t want to be a young, female musician in 2022, Harry faced hardship in the early years of her career. Per The Sunday Times, the musician revealed in her 2019 memoir “Face It” that she was once raped at gunpoint during a burglary while her then-boyfriend (and even eventual Blondie bandmate) Chris Stein was tied up next to her.

Harry said the adversity she faced in her life shaped her career and her character.

“I do think that a lot of people don’t allow things to happen to them. I was on a quest, so to speak. That sounds silly, but I wanted to have experiences in my life,” she told the Times. “Coming from a very conservative background, it was important to me to understand who I was.”


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