Sometimes established artists reach out to assist childhood idols working outside the mainstream. Eric Clapton recorded an album with B.B. King, the Smashing Pumpkins once booked and opened a concert for Cheap Trick, and now ’NSYNC are helping Deborah Gibson resurrect her pop music career.
The ’80s teen star formerly known as Debbie Gibson will open up for ’NSYNC at six shows starting Thursday (August 16) at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana, and ending at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas, on August 27. (Click for photos from ’NSYNC’s tour.)
“The guys are very familiar with my career,” Gibson said Tuesday from her Manhattan home. “The first time I met Chris [Kirkpatrick] and Lance [Bass] was at one of their shows at Madison Square Garden a year and a half ago. I went backstage and they did double takes and went, ’Oh, my God, I bought your records!’ ” (Click for photos from throughout Deborah’s career.)
Gibson will perform a 20-minute set with six of the singers and dancers she recently worked with on the national tour of “Cinderella,” which also featured Eartha Kitt. Her show will consist of a medley of “Foolish Beat,” “Out of the Blue,” “Shake Your Love,” “Electric Youth,” “Only in My Dreams” and “Lost in Your Eyes” — hits from 1987’s Out of the Blue and 1989’s Electric Youth. She will also play “What You Want,” “Your Secret” and “M.Y.O.B.” from this year’s M.Y.O.B.
’NSYNC have taken a number of young up-and-comers on the road in the past, including 3LW, Lil’ Bow Wow and BBMak, but it’s not often they bring out a performer who was popular in another era. While much of ’NSYNC’s fanbase was unborn or in diapers when Gibson was strutting her stuff in the ’80s, the singer remains unfazed.
“It’s funny, I quite often hear parents saying to their kids, ’This was our Britney,’ ” Gibson said, laughing. “It’s fun being able to feel like I’m established with half the audience but I’m introducing myself to the other half. And it’s pretty cool to have a clean slate with some of these kids that have no preconceived notions.”
’NSYNC may be pleased to help re-establish Gibson with modern pop audiences, though it wasn’t their idea to tour with her. It was Gibson’s mother and manager who set the wheels in motion last month.
“My mom just went, ’OK, how do I reach the audience I want to reach? Who’s the biggest act on the road right now?’ We quite simply went after it and we got it.”
Of course, the guys remembered bumping into Gibson 18 months ago in New York, and it probably didn’t hurt that Bass and Gibson sang together six months ago at House of Blues in Los Angeles.
“We were both at a birthday party of a mutual friend, and we got up and did [Madonna’s] ’Into the Groove’ with a cover band,” Gibson said. “That was hysterical and totally surreal.”
Deborah Gibson’s tour dates with ’NSYNC, according to her label:
- 8/16 – Indianapolis, IN @ RCA Dome
- 8/18 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Field
- 8/20 – Columbus, OH @ Columbus Crew Stadium
- 8/22 – New Orleans, LA @ Louisiana Superdome
- 8/24 – Jackson, MS @ Veterans Memorial Stadium
- 8/27 – El Paso, TX @ Sun Bowl Stadium
For a feature interview with ’NSYNC, check out “’NSYNC: Get Dirty” .