Debbie Gibson's youth was indeed electric. During her heyday in the 1980s and '90s, when she hit it big with hits including "Foolish Beat" and "Lost in Your Eyes," the now-44-year-old singer-songwriter rubbed elbows with A-listers of all kinds. Two of her best and most memorable celebrity encounters were with, well, royalty: The King of Pop, aka the late Michael Jackson, and Diana, Princess of Wales.
Gibson spilled about the meetings in an interview with SiriusXM radio host Jenny Hutt on Thursday, April 9, ahead of the premiere of her UP movie The Music in Me on Sunday, April 12.
"Princess Diana was amazing," the former teen star shared of Princes William and Harry's late mother, who died in a car crash at age 36 in August 1997. "I met her, I was in my ripped jean shorts and my bandana because I was performing Electric Youth at the Prince's Trust. And because I was going first I didn't have time to put on a gown."
Gibson apologized for her less-than-formal appearance, but Princess Di assured her it was no problem. "I said, 'Oh my God, it's so great to meet you and I'm so sorry I'm dressed like this…'" the singer recalled. "And she said, 'You look a heck of a lot more comfortable than I am!' So she was so cool and down to earth, and that was amazing."
Jackson made a similarly awe-inspiring impression on the "Only in My Dreams" hitmaker. "When I met him, he was like, 'I was just watching your Disney special last night,'" she told Hutt of the "Thriller" singer, who died at age 50 in 2009. "And I'm like, Michael Jackson is sitting home watching me on TV?!!!! So that was amazing."
Gibson had plenty of compliments for other celebs, too, including fellow teen phenom Justin Bieber (she loved his Ozzy Osbourne lip sync), Rihanna (her "favorite favorite"), Madonna (a "pioneer"), and Miley Cyrus, whom she describes as "an incredible artist."
"I could care less that her antics are what her antics are, 'cause I think it's psychologically healthier to be that free and unedited and really be an artist," Gibson explained of the "Adore You" singer. "You know artists are supposed to have a flare for the ridiculous, and they're supposed to be living a fantasy. and she is. And that wouldn't be great if she came out and she sucked, but her voice is incredible."
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!