She is a singer and actress born Deborah Ann Boone in Hackensack, New Jersey, as one of four sisters. Her father is the singer Pat Boone, Her mother Shirley Lee Foley, and her grandfather was the singer Red Foley.
When she was 14 she began singing and touring with her parents and sisters as The Boones and her first success was seen when their single “When the Lovelight Starts Shining” entered the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart at No. 25, followed closely by “Hasta Manana“.
Going solo she was catapulted into the limelight in 1977 when she did a cover version of “You Light Up My Life ” which stormed the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed at No. 1 for 10 weeks. This earned her two Grammy nominations and a platinum album and single. Unfortunately she couldn’t keep that momentum going though and her next few singles just entered the charts and no more.
She sang another Oscar nomination for “When You’re Loved” which was the theme from The Magic of Lassie but reaching No. 48 on the chart it couldn’t emulate her previous success. Because “You Light Up My Life ” had also been successful on the Country chart she moved over to that genre and would reach No. 11 in 1979 with “My Heart Has a Mind of It’s Own” which had previously been recorded by Connie Francis. She saw a further three songs entering the Top 50, but the accompanying album did not see the same success.
1980 came around and at last she reached the Country No. 1 spot again with her “Are You On the Road to Lovin’ Me Again” which would share the Top 5 with 4 other female artists, which had been previously unknown. Releasing several more Country chart entering albums she left the music scene in the early 1980s to become a member of the cast of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers that would reach Broadway for five performances in 1982 before it was closed. During the rest of the 1980s she would work on several other musicals such as Meet Me in St. Louis, South Pacific and The King and I and began to appear in TV films.
She moved into singing Christian music and this would earn her two Grammy awards. Releasing many albums in this genre she would also sing “White Christmas” in a duet with her mother-in-law, Rosemary Clooney on her 1989 Home for Christmas.
Concentrating on bringing up her family and writing towards the end of the 1980s and into the 1990s she collaborated with her husband, Gabriel Ferrer, on publishing several children’s books which her husband illustrated. She also released Debby Boone’s Hug-a-Long Songs as children’s videos.
She began recording and touring again in 2005 and released the album Reflections of Rosemary in tribute to her mother-in-law.
Here’s her hit “You Light Up My Life”…