LOS ANGELES – Debbie Gibson has enjoyed a storied career as a singer, songwriter, producer and actress.
Since becoming a child star in the '80s, the “Only in My Dreams” vocalist has traveled the world performing a plethora of her many hits in addition to her recurring roles on Hallmark channel movies.
The 47-year-old allowed many of her supporters to get close to her as a teen, but she revealed an uplifting tale of a very specific interaction with a fan that would change her life.
“There’s a girl named Meghan – and in fact, she just called me like a week ago,” Gibson told Fox News.
“She was brought to my video set when I was 18 as a Make-A-Wish child and she was not supposed to live beyond 6 months or so, and it was her dying wish to meet me,” she continued. “Well, she swears by the healing power of music and that kind of inspiration, and she is alive today and she’s teaching.”
Gibson recalled, “She called me the other day – we’ve kept in touch. She showed up at one of my concerts about 10 years ago and said, ‘I’m the girl whose dying wish it was to meet you, and I’m here.’ And I went – Oh, my God. Then we exchanged numbers and she called me with her students about a week ago and said, ‘It’s Meghan, I want my students to say hi!’ So, that’s kind of insanely magical.”
Although Gibson has grown up in the public eye, the longtime performer doesn’t envy the young stars who live their lives in a world of social media and would tell you her life today is as normal as they come.
“I can’t imagine being Taylor Swift trying to keep up with all of those fans at one time,” she said. “I have a little more of a core fan base, so I actually can interact with a lot of my die-hard fans, which is really cool. And, I’m glad it’s now and not then.
“I think it’s such a juggling act," she continued. "I just think all that constant feedback – I call it unsolicited opinions, and on social media, you get them all day long. And it’s hard for people of any age, but when you take younger people and impressionable people, I think psychologically it’s a lot to deal with. I’m so grateful that I did not have that element as a kid.”
She further recalled times when she was touring and had no means of contacting her friends or family in the pre-cellular device age.
“I was kind of like on a tour bus living in a bubble by myself – there weren’t even cell phones, I couldn’t even call Tiffany [Darwish] and go, ‘Hey girl, how are you handling all of this?’ There was nothing. So, it was me and my sister and Scattergories on the tour bus.”
The “Summer of Dreams” actress’ approach to living her life has much to do with the fact that she keeps a low profile and only turns up the sizzle when she’s performing for her fans around the world, something that she says has kept her grounded and even landed her a life-long fan.
“Yeah, you know, I live in Vegas and I’m a regular at my Whole Foods and people don’t think anything of it,” she said.
The allure of Gibson’s appeal and approachability is that even as a well-known musician, she doesn’t take herself too seriously and even refers to herself as “self-deprecating.”
“Everyone sees me in the market every day – who cares,” she said. “Nobody cares, and nobody is going to pay for a picture. And, that’s kind of how I feel in my everyday life. I’m really kind of one of the gang, one of the community and I lay low and live a very normal life.”
She added, "If people do recognize me and come up to me, they’re so cool and respectful and usually have some great anecdote about how my music fit into their life – and I never get tired of hearing about that. So, I feel like I connect to people on a very real level, and yeah – my life’s pretty sweet.”
As Gibson prepares to travel to Asia for a tour, she noted that conversations have already taken place about her next project with the Hallmark Channel.
“I’m already talking to Hallmark about what’s next,” she revealed. “There's a big project that I can’t say anything about yet that’s going to be announced in October, and next year it’s going to take up a great part of my year in a big way. So, things are kind of rocking right now.”