First of all: Yes, we know she's officially Deborah Gibson now, but for anybody who grew up with "Shake Your Love" and "Out of the Blue," she'll always be Debbie. Today is her 40th birthday, so be sure to save her the big slice of cake and let her take a few extra swings at the pinata.
Gibson broke onto the pop scene just before her 17th birthday when she dropped her debut album Out of the Blue in 1987. Though most teenage pop sensations are the product of an army of producers, songwriters and stylists, Gibson was a completely self-made star who wrote, produced and arranged all of the songs on her debut. The album spawned a cavalcade of hit singles, including "Only in My Dreams," the aforementioned "Shake Your Love" and the title track. Those songs drove Out of the Blue to sales of three million in the U.S. and over eight million worldwide.
Following a hugely successful world tour, Gibson struck again with Electric Youth in 1989. That album scored another set of giant singles, including the title track and "Lost in Your Eyes." Though her subsequent albums started to fade in the United States, she continued to have international success (especially in the U.K. and Japan). She continued to release albums throughout the '90s while she made her way into acting. She put together an excellent theater career, starring in a beloved London production of "Grease" and then coming back to the stages to star in shows like "Beauty and the Beast," "Gypsy" and "Chicago." Lately, she has become something of a cult star in sci-fi movies, such as last year's "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus" and the forthcoming "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid" (which co-stars former rival Tiffany, she of "I Think We're Alone Now" fame).
Gibson's biggest hit was "Foolish Beat," which came from Out of the Blue and peaked at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. She still holds the record for being the youngest star to ever write, produce and perform a chart-topping song. Gibson was an MTV staple in the '80s, and the clip for "Foolish Beat" is one of the biggest in the channel's history.