Music Stars of the '80s: Where Are They Now?

They were the teen queens of the 1980s pop scene, Tiffany and Debbie Gibson, the singing and fashion icons who rocked their rivalry all the way to pop-star superstardom before fading away as adulthood and the 1990s beckoned.

Now the former hit-making rivals are back and on tour together, bringing the decade that made them famous to the "Good Morning America" Summer Concert Series stage in a live performance today in New York City's Central Park.

Calling their tour "Journey Through the 80s," Tiffany and Debbie, who also starred together in the film "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid," perform a mix of their own material with covers of hits by Stevie Nicks, Reba McIntyre and Guns N' Roses from the decade they dominated.

The jean jackets, scrunchies, hairspray and hoop earrings of the '80s may be long gone, but the memories aren't.

While Tiffany and Debbie Gibson send '80s fans wild with their reunion today on the "GMA Summer Concert Series" stage, here's a look back at the rest of your favorite music stars from that glorious decade, and where they are now.

Tiffany

Tiffany, now 39, rocketed into pop super-stardom overnight with her 1987 dance hit 'I Think We're Alone Now' from her debut album 'Tiffany. The song became a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 list, while the album made the singer the youngest female artist to top the Billboard charts with a debut album.

Tiffany cemented her popstar status with a nationwide tour titled "The Beautiful You: Celebrating The Good Life Shopping Mall Tour '87," and later opened for the all-boys group "New Kids On the Block."

In the decades since, Tiffany made the jump from the pop sound that made her famous to country music and released her eighth studio album 'Rose Tattoo' in March 2011. In between she also appeared nude in the April 2002 issue of Playboy magazine and starred in the fifth season of the VH1 reality show, "Celebrity Fit Club."

Children of the '80s may never have imagined Tiffany would have a teenager herself, but the singer is now married to her second husband and has a 19-year-old son.

Debbie Gibson

Debbie Gibson , now 40, began her pop career at the age of 16 when her self-written album, "Out of the Blue," sold over eight million copies worldwide. Her follow-up album, "Electric Youth," was released in 1989 and spent five weeks as the No. 1 album on the Billboard chart, making her a certified pop superstar.

As her popstar status began to fade in the '90s, Debbie, by then known as Deborah, turned to musical theater, making her Broadway debut in Les Miserables in 1992. She also continued to record and tour, releasing a single, "Say Goodbye," in 2006 with fellow '80s singer Jordan Knight,and becoming a popular fixture at Gay Pride parades and music festivals.

She also, like Tiffany before her, appeared nude in Playboy, in the March 2005 issue, and went the route of reality TV, joining the cast of Fox's "Skating with Celebrities" in 2006 before being voted out in the season's third episode.

More recently, Gibson appeared in singer Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night" music video and filmed a cameo appearance in the upcoming film, 'Rock of Ages.'

Blondie

Blondie became one of the most influential and successful bands of the early 1980s with the New Wave, punk vibe they brought right into the decade's music scene. Led by Deborah "Debbie" Harry on vocals and Chris Stein on guitar, their 1978 album "Parallel Lines" included the hit single "Heart Of Glass," which reached number 1 in both the U.K. and U.S. music charts.

The band faded in the mid '80s when their next album, "The Hunter," failed and tensions rose between band members over drug abuse and the life-threatening illness of Stein, a founding band member and Debbie Harry's lover. Harry launched a moderately successful solo career in the 90's before reemerging with the band briefly in 1999 with the album "No Exit" and single "Maria" that went to the top of the British charts. In 2006 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and, this summer, released their 9th studio album, "Panic of Girls."

Fans of the '80s still love the band too, sparking their comeback as a live act. They most recently went on the road with another '80s music star, Pat Benatar, for the "Call Me Invincible Tour."

Bon Jovi

Big hair, big sound and big, sellout arenas. Bon Jovi represented the essence of the 80s rock band. Bon Jovi, comprising lead singer Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Tico Torres and David Bryan, formed in Sayreville, N.J., in 1983.

The band hit it big with chart-topping hits that have become anthems of an era: "You Give Love a Bad Name," "Livin' on a Prayer," and "Wanted Dead or Alive" from the album "Slippery When Wet," and "Bad Medicine" and "I'll Be There for You" from the album "New Jersey," are among numerous hits Bon Jovi hits.

The band rode the wave of its success all throughout the 1980s, but members pursued their own individual interests in the 1990s following a grueling schedule on the road. Bon Jovi and Sambora both released successful solo albums, and Bon Jovi has appeared in several movie roles.

Unlike other similar bands of the era that've faded into obscurity, Bon Jovi continues to rock out to sellout crowds across the globe and record new music. In 2000, the music video for the single "It's My Life," off the album "Crush," won a VH1 Video Music Award for favorite video.

Since then, the band – with its core members along with newer ones -- continued to release albums with material reflecting their roots and venturing into other genres, including country music. Bon Jovi band was nominated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Kylie Minogue

This Australian pop princess is a survivor, not only for a career that has spanned decades, but for her successful battle against breast cancer.

She got her break in show business as a child actress in Australia, and rose to prominence in the late 1980s through her role on the hugely popular soap opera, "Neighbors." She left the show when her career as a pop artist took off.

Her iconic 80s hits include "Locomotion" and "I Should Be So Lucky."

Her star power may have waned in the United States since then, but she remained a bona fide star in Europe and Australia, touring and recording new music.

In 2001, she released the album "Can't Get You Out of My Head." It became her first top-selling single in the United States in more than a decade.

Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. She underwent a partial mastectomy and chemotherapy. In November 2007, Minogue told Glamour magazine that she had been through an emotional roller coaster with treatment for breast cancer. The spunky performer, now 43, has sold more than 60 million records worldwide, and she's far from done.

The sexy Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter -- and occasional -- actress recently released her 11th album and continues to tour the world – wowing fans with her provocative outfits and dance routines.

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul has done it all. Most recently known as the lovable, kind-hearted judge providing a foil to the brusque Simon Cowell on the hit reality TV singing competition "American Idol," Abdul's road to super success began when she became a Laker Girl, and then a choreographer.

Her big break came when she was spotted by the Jacksons at one of the L.A. Laker games. They recruited her to chooreograph for them, and she also did choreography for movies and T.V.

She was an instant success when she broke into the music business in 1988, becoming a hit maker with memorable songs, including "Opposites Attract," "Forever Your Girl" and "Straight Up."

Later hits included "Rush, Rush" and "Promise of a New Day."

Abdul took a break from music to act, then was named a judge on "Idol" in 2002.

Her professional success has at times been shadowed by personal problems – such as an eating disorder, erratic on-camera behavior due to alleged substance abuse – allegations which she categorically denied – and accusations from a former "Idol" contestant that the two had an affair.

She denied those allegations and received overwhelming support from colleagues and fans. An internal investigation by the FOX network failed to turn up evidence of wrongdoing.

Abdul left "Idol" in 2009, apparently over stalled salary negotiations, and pursued a number of other projects, including the short-lived dance reality show "Live to Dance" on CBS.

She will be a judge on the first American season of the British import, "The X Factor," in the fall.

Rick Astley

Rick Astley was the smooth-singing, British sensation who took both sides of the Atlantic by storm with 1980s hits like "Car Jam," "Together Forever," and "Never Gonna Give You Up," the latter of which became the biggest selling single of 1987 and propelled the singer to his more than 40 million records sold worldwide over his career.

After saying he wanted to be considered a serious singer/songwriter, Astley split from his longtime producers but, by the 1993 release of his album, "Body and Soul," it seemed Astley's star was fading. He disappeared from the public eye in the mid-1990s, amid rumors that he couldn't handle the fame, and settled down in England with his wife, Lene Bausager,and their daughter, Emilie, born in 1992.

Astley made a comeback in 2007 when he became an Internet phenomenon as his video for "Never Gonna Give You Up" became part of a popular Internet fad known as "Rickrolling." Astley was voted "Best Act Ever" by Internet users at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008 and, today, continues to tour and work in radio, most recently as a DJ for London's Magic FM radio station.

The Bangles

This dynamic all-girl band had everybody walking like an Egyptian. While their dress typified reflected the fashions of the era – large earrings, oversized tops and color, color, their music was unmistakably rock, albeit with an accessible pop twist.

When the group formed in the early 80s, members Susanna Hoffs, Debbi Peterson and Vicki Peterson, they drew upon punk roots to put create their own sound.

"Walk Like an Egyptian" and "Manic Monday" had true pop appeal, their version of "Hazy Shade of Winter," had a haunting quality that became another hit for them, and "Eternal Flame," a ballad that came to define the band, was their biggest-selling hit. But personal disagreements led to the break-up of The Bangles for a time, each member pursuing her own interests.

Lucky for die-hard 80s fans, the Bangles have recently reunited to perform and tour together again. They are expected to release a new studio new album, "Sweetheart of the Sun," in the fall.

Richard Marx

Richard Marx is the singer/songwriter whose pop/rock hits include love songs that evoke sultry summer nights of the 80s.

To die-hard fans, his songs are timeless – particularly the ballads, delivered in Marx's distinctive tenor with lyrics that reached deep.

Like many other singers who've made it big, Marx got his start as a background singer.

Then he struck out on his own, creating a string of hits in the 80s and 90s that catapulted him to true heartthrob status. How many of those hits can you name? "Should Have Known Better," "Endless Summer Nights," "Hazard," "It Don't Mean Nothing," "Now and Forever," and "Right Here Waiting," are probably his best-known, but Marx was multitalented. While no longer on the top of the charts, the Grammy Award winner remains a force in the industry. Marx built a music studio, and has written for other artists and projects, plays piano and continues to make his own new music.

Aside from his own hits, he wrote or co-wrote hits with other top artists, including Josh Groban and Keith Urban. He co-wrote the Kenny Rogers hit, "Crazy."

Marx and his wife, dancer/actress Cynthia Rhodes (of "Dirty Dancing" fame) have three children.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...