May 22, 2011

UK: Debbie Harry talks about aging and her regret at not having children

LONDON, Enland / The Telegraph / Music / May 22, 2011

Debbie Harry, the 65-year-old legendary rocker, has described the ageing process as "rough"

Debbie Harry is approaching her seventh decade Photo: REX
By Roya Nikkhah, Arts Correspondent

As one of the leading sex symbols of her generation, Debbie Harry’s striking looks helped to earn her worldwide fame and record sales of more than 30 million.
Now, as the Blondie singer approaches her seventh decade, she has admitted that she finds the ageing process “rough”.

Harry, whose hits from the 1970s and early 1980s include Heart of Glass and Atomic, said that she struggled with coming to terms that time is taking its toll on her “blonde bombshell” image.

Interviewed on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Harry, 65, was asked by the presenter Kirsty Young: “Do you have any problem with ageing?”
Photo courtesy:

She replied: “Oh yes, sure, it’s hard. Regardless of what I say about trying to be better at what I do, I rely on looks a lot. Women’s calling cards, unfortunately, are based on their looks.

“As far as ageing goes, it’s rough. I’m trying my best now. I’m healthy and I exercise like a fiend and do all that stuff that recovered drug addicts do.”

Harry recently admitted that during the late 1980s, she and her then boyfriend, the Blondie guitarist Chris Stein, were drug addicts. Both later overcame their addictions following stints in rehab.

During the programme, which is broadcast today, Harry said that she did not regret taking drugs, but admitted that she was an “idiot” to think they would not affect her wellbeing.

She said: “I’m glad I’ve had all the radical experiences in life. Am I still imbibing? No, I’ve run the gamut. For me it turned into not so much fun, it just wears thin. I was one of those idiots who thought they were going to live forever.”

The singer, who is unmarried, also spoke of her regret at never having children. When asked if she was sorry that she did not have children of her own, she said: “Sometimes, sometimes. I guess it never struck me as being part of survival and for many people it is, it’s a way of surviving.”

Harry’s choice of music for her desert island included Heavy Cross by The Gossip, Nina Simone’s Strange Fruit and When I Grow Up by Fever Ray.

Her luxury was an endless supply of paper and paints and her chosen book was War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2011