Long before Kris Jenner, former teen-pop phenom Debbie Gibson had the original momager when she released her history-making debut album, “Out of the Blue,” on Aug. 18, 1987.
And as the now 51-year-old Long Island native celebrates the 35th anniversary of her first LP with three shows at Manhattan’s 54 Below — after opening night on Thursday, she returns for two more shows on Sunday and Monday — she’s showing her love for her mother Diane Gibson, who passed away in January.
“This was very much a homecoming — and very much a tribute to my mom,” Gibson, who now lives in Las Vegas, told The Post. “Listen, I would never have had that moment without my mom — launching a record at 16, the two of us not knowing anything or anyone in the business, and actually seeing these songs to the top of the charts.”
Indeed, 35 years after those “Out of the Blue” hits “Only in My Dreams,” “Shake Your Love,” “Foolish Beat” and the title track made Gibson a certified star when she was just 17, she is looking back on Her mother as a “pioneer” who managed the most famous of her four daughters for 25 years.
“You know, she was a music executive in a very male-dominated world,” said Gibson. “And to be the mother manager, there was such a stigma attached to that, and she knew that she had to know 10 times more than any of the men knew to be taken seriously.”
In fact, it was Mama Gibson who fiercely insisted that her daughter could write and produce her No. 1 hit “Foolish Beat” all by herself. And three and a half decades later, she remains the youngest female artist to have accomplished that femmetastic feat.
“I’ll never forget the meeting where she literally banged her fists on the conference room table at Atlantic Records with primarily men in suits sitting around laughing at the thought that I was going to produce ‘Foolish Beat,'” said Gibson. “And she’s like, ‘Well, listen to the demo. Deb has a vision. She’s the only person who should produce this record.’ And she fought for that creative freedom, got that creative freedom, and that put me in the Guinness Book of World Records.”
Before she was even old enough to vote, Gibson was writing her own songs that were recorded in a basement studio in Brooklyn — in between pizza breaks and study sessions. And before she was even legal to drink, she proved herself in the notoriously tough New York club scene.
“The debut of my single [‘Only in My Dreams’] was at the Palladium in New York,” she said. “I was wearing this little sequined dress, and it caught on a microphone stand and started to unravel. As I danced away from the microphone, I remember doing a little dance move [to free myself].”
Before anyone ever imagined the term “wardrobe malfunction,” a valuable lesson was learned by Gibson that night: “Anything that potentially goes wrong onstage and you can make the moment of it — it started at the Palladium.”
Now Gibson — who released her 10th studio album, “The Body Remembers,” last year and is working on a holiday LP — is a big fan and supporter of the new generation of young female pop stars such as Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish and Lorde. .
“That Olivia Rodrigo album [‘Sour’], to me, is undeniable. It’s so on par with Alanis Morissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ in my opinion,” she said. “It’s just such a high point in music to me — like a real expression of a young girl and a talented girl. I’m so grateful that the landscape is so different than when I started.”