Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry on obstacles she overcame in her rock-and-roll life

The rockstar and style icon offers candid revelations in her new memoir “Face It,” including that she was penniless despite seven years of record sales and that she used heroin in the past.
6:00 | 10/02/19

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Transcript for Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry on obstacles she overcame in her rock-and-roll life
Reporter: She had a gaze of steel, too, Debbie Harry who abrupted the pop world of the '70s and '80s. Blending musical frenemies, disco and heart of glass, 1981's "Rapture." Out front and fearless, yet always with that sense of cool remove. Still kind of detached. I hesitate to be attached. Maybe it was because I was concentrating so hard trying to be better at what I was doing. Reporter: Now four decades after blondie first roared out of cbgb, her new memoir offers candid revelations from her when you were up on stage, what did that feel like at first? Terribly frightening, but I suddenly realized, I have to make them respond, I have to go out there, I have to get them. After that, it was a no-brainer. I just went out and got'em. Reporter: Did she ever. Going retro for "Denine" I'm so in love with you Reporter: With band mate Chris stein on "Sunday girl." She'd kick it with everyone from David bowie to the muppets on "Call me" call me call me Reporter: Photographed by Andy Warhol, adored by millions, thanks to songs like "One way or another." Is this level. Stardom anything that you could have possibly imagined? Yes. I guess that's sort of what pushes you forward, you know. Reporter: But, in an edgy, unsafe era where drugs were as much a part of the scene as the amps and eye shadow, it could be a very rough ride. We had great times. We had horrible times. Reporter: One you chronicle in your book that involved a sexual assault. I had a great friend and partner in Chris. He sort of helped me put it into proportion, I felt anger, frustration. I wanted revenge. I went through every emotion that you would normally go through when you're victimized. For whatever reason my sanity took over and said you can't carry around this kind of anger. For what it's worth, maybe some of this energy and some of this drive, you know, went into my performances. Reporter: More rage would follow in the mid '80s, blondie discovered they were broke, and when Harry was spotted buying baby food, it last wasn't for an infant. You bought him baby food. He liked tofu or tofuti, he couldn't eat food. Reporter: Harry writes that she would go out to buy heroin for him and for herself. Why? Why? Because we junkies. And it was, you know, helped us survive this desperately horrible situation. Reporter: How would you become junkies in the first place? Oh, I guess it was actually a big part of social life, downtown at that point. You know, you went to somebody's house and say oh, would you, you know, like a taste? Reporter: Stein would recover from his illness and the two of them eventually kicked their habits, via a detox program at New York hospital. He says in your forward I wasted an enormous amount of time on substance abuse and self-medication. Yeah, I agree. Because I know that, you know, it was a silly waste of time. But then I don't really regret my life and the things that are important to me now are because I've, you know, gone through all of this stuff. And it's great. Reporter: Adopted by a family when she was 3 months old, Harry grew up in New Jersey. You'd sung in the church choir? I did. Yes, I liked it. I mean, I did like it. Some of the songs are quite nice. Reporter: The parents who raised you, you always talk about them as having given you the greatest love. I think they would have been happier if I had married and had a family. Reporter: Do you regret not having done any of that? I have little regrets. But how could I possibly think or say that, because I mean, everybody wants to, you know, have a life like mine. Reporter: Blessed with the glamour of the era's rock gods and the soul of an artistic rebel. Reporter: Even bewigged on the hardest part. Now in her 70s, she remains a role model and inspiration to generations, drawn to her adventurous and creative life and her ability. If you talked to that girl who graduated high school in 1963, what would you want to say to her? Carry on. I was able to just leap over, step over something and, because I wanted to go there and not stop there. Reporter: So we want to know happy? I think, yes, I think I am.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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