Here are 10 things you might not know about the revolutionary New Wave band from New York City
1. Lead singer Deborah Harry was actually born Angela Tremble.
Debbie was renamed by her adoptive parents at the age of three. Harry would later track down her birth mother in Miami, who refused to have contact with her.
2. Debbie Harry worked as a waitress and Playboy Bunny before pursuing a career in music.
3. The band was originally dubbed Angel and the Snake.
The group eventually settled on Blondie, inspired by catcalls of “Hey, Blondie!” directed at the bleach-blonde lead singer. Harry is a natural brunette.
4. Debbie Harry claims she was once lured into the car of serial killer Ted Bundy.
While in New York City in the ’70s, Harry says infamous serial killer Ted Bundy invited her into his car. She obviously managed to escape.
5. The band achieved their first hit by accident.
In 1977, the video for “In the Flesh” was mistakenly played by Australian music television program Countdown. The band’s first single was supposed to be the aggressive punk track “X-Offender,” but the softer sensibilities of “In the Flesh” won out.
6. Blondie didn’t have a break out hit in the U.S. until 1979.
The disco-infused “Heart of Glass” off Parallel Lines reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The worldwide smash Parallel Lines would also spawn the rock n’ roll classic “One Way or Another.”
7. “Call Me” was never released on an official Blondie studio record.
The song was recorded as the title theme for Richard Gere’s film American Gigolo. Co-written by Giorgio Moroder, the disco producer responsible for Donna Summer’s biggest hits, “Call Me” was originally intended for Stevie Nicks. Nicks ultimately passed on the project due to previous contract obligations.
8. Blondie charted the first No. 1 single in the U.S. to feature rapping.
The hip hop-inspired “Rapture,” off 1980’s Autoamerican, charted in 1981, the first time rap appeared at the top of the charts.
9. Harry and guitarist Chris Stein were once a couple.
The pair were romantically involved through much of the band’s career, ultimately breaking up in the mid-80s after Harry helped care for Stein during his battle with pemphigus.
10. “Maria” became Blondie’s sixth U.K. #1, exactly twenty years after the band’s first number one, “Heart of Glass.”
The feat made Blondie the first and only American band to have chart-topping U.K. singles in three different decades: the ’70s, ’80s, and’90s. Michael Jackson (as part of The Jackson Five, and later as a solo artist) is the only other U.S. artist with such a claim.