Debbie Gibson Plays Her Trump Card

Debbie Gibson became a household name when she was only sweet 16 by shooting straight to the top of the music charts with her dynamite voice and catchy lyrics. Gibson, who hails from Long Island, went on to become the youngest person ever to write, produce and perform a number one single. After selling more than 16 million albums worldwide and appearing on Broadway in Les Miserables, Gibson is now showcasing her hidden talents in the boardroom by doing her best to impress Donald Trump on The Celebrity Apprentice. An edited version of our phone interview with her follows.

by Ilyssa Panitz • Celebrity Reporter
Photograph: PRN / PR Photos

More: You were once a teen sensation and graced the covers of many magazines. Do you hope that doing this program will springboard your career and get you back to that level of popularity?
DG: What really tugged at my heart was the charity aspect of this series. For me, if I am going to get up every day at 4 a.m., it has to be about something more. Yes, this is a great opportunity to get yourself out there and talk about what you are doing now. It takes a pop culture moment like this to shine a light on what I'm doing. But no, that wasn’t the reason I signed on. If you start thinking from the outside in, you are in trouble. You have to do what feels authentic to you, and if there's a positive result that's meant to follow, then that is great.

More: But there are benefits?
DG: Sure, you get more traffic to your website and if you have a new song out you gain more interest.

More: Having been a teen pop sensation, what do you think of today’s young talent?
DG: I like a lot of them. Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and I like Selena Gomez a lot. If any teen can handle the fame part of the business I am impressed. Overall, I think music is in a great place and today’s teens are leading the pack, which for me is so great to see. I watch American Idol all of the time and I am completely blown away by some of these young artists. A good song is a good song and age does not matter. 

More: Speaking of artists, are you recording new music?
DG: I am working on new music that reflects the life I live today, such as the man I have been with for four years. I am in an actual real relationship that I love.

More: You are in serious relationship with Dr. Rutledge Taylor. Might this lead to marriage?
DG: I am not a fan of the white dress. If I am in a white dress it will be because I am at an event. My man and I are married at heart and fully committed. I don’t feel the need to do anything more than that right now. So many people take marriage lightly, and I do not. I feel more married to my man than some of my married friends do to their husbands. So the answer to your question is, we are good.

More: Have you gotten better with age?
DG: I am 41 and I am proud of where I am today. I have evolved a lot as an artist and I think the people who have followed me over the years will see that reflected in my music. Not only is it authentic, but the production sound is a combination of both old and new.

Click here to read Kristin Chenoweth Goes 'GCB.'

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First Published March 28, 2012

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