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Debbie Harry gives back

<p>Debbie harry’s ready for payback, but in a good way.</p>

Blondie singer backs gay rights movement

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Debbie Harry’s first album in 14 years, Necessary Evil, will be released on August 7.

Debbie Harry’s ready for payback, but in a good way.

The punk/new wave legend and front woman of Rock Hall And Roll Of Fame inductee group Blondie is joining, among others, Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, and host Margaret Cho at the Molson Amphitheatre on June 19 for the True Colors Tour, a series of concerts across the continent in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.

A longtime favourite of many in the gay community, Harry says the concert series is the perfect chance to say thank you to those who have backed her for so long.

“I got invited, truthfully,” Harry laughs. “The gay community has been really supportive of me and of Blondie over the years and this was a golden opportunity to give something back. Gay culture has become a lot more mainstream and I think it’s about time. People are a lot more aware of the gay community and gay rights and gay personalities and gay love stories. We have great TV shows with gay characters.”

That’s not to say that Harry believes it’s easy to be a non-heterosexual. She says they still face many tough challenges to confront.

“A lot of the issues have been explored,” she says. “But I guess one is overcoming the old stigma of the religious right, saying that homosexuality is evil and it can only be one way. It’s a very primitive, medieval thinking kind of way, or even pre-medieval … I think sexuality, really, is your own private business.”

As Buddy Cole once put it, “We’re all just here to find love,” which Harry says is the theme of several songs — which you will more than likely hear at the show — of Necessary Evil, dropping August 7. Her first solo album in 14 years, Harry says she’s put more of herself into this most recent work.

“It’s sort of more directly me, lyrically and musically,” she says. “Usually with the Blondie records the guys who wrote the tunes would come in with their tracks and if they didn’t have a lyric for it, I would come in with a lyric for it. And because I was writing with a group sensibility, I would make things a little bit more general in some ways. But I think the songs on this album are a little bit more specific for me. But I tried to make it entertaining, and I tried to make it, you know, just a good pop rock album.”

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  • Debbie Harry plays the Molson Amphitheatre June 19 as part of the True Colors Tour.