Debbie Gibson has a soft spot for fellow former teen pop star Britney Spears.
The “Only in My Dreams” singer, 52, shared that she wants nothing but the best for Spears, who has experienced years of upheaval, including being put under a 13-year conservatorship that ended last year.
“It’s very easy to kind of mock her social media posts,” Gibson told Page Six. “But I see somebody who is joyful and just dying to get out of that bubble. She’s a natural performer, so if she has to perform in her living room, on social media, that’s what she’s going to do.”
While Spears can often be found posting videos of herself dancing at home, Gibson says she’s hopeful the “Stronger” singer will make her way back to performing live for her millions of fans one day soon.
“I hope she finds her stage again,” Gibson said.
Gibson, who skyrocketed to fame in the ’80s as a teen pop star with songs like “Foolish Beat” and “Shake Your Love,” credits her protective parents with keeping her safe during her days of music superstardom. Gibson’s mom, the late music manager Diane Gibson, shielded her daughter from the darker side of the industry.
“I jokingly but not jokingly say she literally threw her body in front of anybody that was out to cause me any kind of harm, and she prevented any sort of #MeToo situation from happening,” Gibson continued. “It didn’t always get her brownie points but got her a lot of respect, and it protected me. So, I’m really lucky that I had protective parents that didn’t want anything from me but for me to turn out sane and happy and healthy.”
While her mom died in January of this year, Gibson still has a strong relationship with her father, with whom she’s very close. The duo even take to Instagram together on occasion for live videos.
“I’m very lucky because I had my mom and my dad. I spoke to my dad last night, and he is one of my favorite people in the world, and I have a great relationship with him,” said Gibson, carefully alluding to the troubled relationship between Britney and her father, Jamie Spears, who placed his daughter under a conservatorship back in 2008.
Following her mother’s death back in January, Gibson shared an emotional Instagram essay about how her mom managed to skyrocket her daughter to teen superstardom without extensive knowledge of the music industry.
“Diane loved fiercely, protected those she cared about with every fiber of her being, and with no college education and no showbiz connections went on to become a bold and groundbreaking music manager in what was a man’s world,” she wrote. “Self-taught and street smart, a force of nature and the OG ‘Momager,’ guided by her intuition, love of music, and the desire to help see my vision to its fullest potential, she stopped at nothing to help get my music heard leaving an undeniable mark on the world and its cultural landscape. I quite literally couldn’t have done any of this without her.”
Gibson stated that the key to her relationship with her mom was that Diane’s focus remained on her daughter at all times.
“She did not care about her reputation as much as she cared about me turning out sane and healthy. We went through all the ups and downs and twists and turns of a true partnership but our relationship landed at the most loving and lovely juncture,” she wrote.