Debbie Gibson tears up talking about the 30th anniversary of 'Electric Youth': It's 'astounding to me'

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

It’s been three decades since Debbie Gibson released her second consecutive chart-topping album, the massively successful Electric Youth, spawning continuing the singer/songwriter’s string of hit songs, cementing her iconic black hat look and, of course, prompting the creation of a certain hot pink perfume.

She’s given the significance of that a lot of thought, especially as she spent the summer as part of the retro Mixtape Tour, alongside New Kids on the Block, Tiffany, Naughty by Nature and Salt-N-Pepa.

“Hearing the stories and, yeah, seeing the fans with their memories and [to think] that I was a part of their life in some way and still am is astounding to me,” Gibson said in an appearance Wednesday at BUILD Series in New York City.

Just talking about the anniversary of Electric Youth, which she released in January 1989, when she was 19, made her tear up.

Gibson celebrated earlier this year by asking fans to share their own memories of the album, which she used to create scrapbooks for her DebHeads.

She recognizes what a big deal it is that she’s still making music and connecting with fans.

“When I started in the business, I looked up to those artists that lasted… more than a decade or two or three,” Gibson said. “To be one of those artists now, it’s not wasted on me.”

The “Lost in Your Eyes” artist said she has so much gratitude, because she understands the important role music plays in people’s lives.

“When someone comes up and shares a memory, a music memory, with any of us musical artists and they say, you know, I broke up with my boyfriend and then this song came on at the prom… in all of those things, it’s like, without knowing all of you guys who maybe had that memory with me, I was there with you,” Gibson said. “And that’s so profound.”

Gibson’s next career move is serving as a judge on the new Nickelodeon competition show America’s Most Musical Family.

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