For seven weeks the song stayed at Number 1 on the Victorian pop charts. Her follow-up single was also a huge hit. It was a double A side consisting of a second Crystals cover, Da Doo Ron Ron, and another track called The Boogeyman. Later in 1975 she again won the Logie Award for Best Teenage Television Personality and the TV Week Queen of Pop Award. In 1976 she was invited to London by Peter Gormley Management to record at Abbey Road Studios under producer Cliff Richard.
While in London, she made many public appearances, including The Cliff Richard Show. Byrne's first Australian television guest appearance as a featured solo artist was on The Graham Kennedy Show at the age of fifteen. Since then she has made a guest appearance on every major Australian Tonight show and was a regular performer on the ABC series The Saturday Show. In 1978 she merged singing with acting for the first time on the ABC's Sammy Award winning Follies series. In 1980 Byrne co-starred alongside John Farnham in the ABC television show Farnham and Byrne. After much rumour, Byrne's career stalled between 1980 and 1985 due to a heroin addiction.
However, she made a successful and highly-publicised career comeback in 1985 with the starring role as Kathy McLeod, opposite Matt Dillon, in the film Rebel. She was nominated for an AFI Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role for her performance in this film. In 1988 she was invited to perform at the Royal Bicentennial Concert for the then Prince and Princess of Wales. Her backing group for the concert was composed of 1500 children. Byrne has enjoyed a successful stage career interspersed with appearances on such televisions programs as The Secret Life of Us, Home and Away, Police Rescue, The Flying Doctors, G.P., State Coroner and Law of the Land. In 1991 Byrne released her album Caught in the Act, which eventually went gold. And in 1994 she released her contemporary album Sleeping Child, which includes songs about her children, relationships, sexual abuse, addiction, loss and grief.
She continues to be a prolific stage artist, and has starred in many productions including the roles of Grizabella in Cats and Fantine in Les Miserables, and feature roles in Jerry's Girls and Hot Shoe Shuffle. She was invited to reprise the role of Fantine for The World Symphonic Recording of Les Miserables, which featured the best performers from worldwide productions. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Theatre Musical Soundtrack. In recent years Byrne has been most notable for her role of Norma Desmond, opposite Hugh Jackman, in the first Australian production of Sunset Boulevard, and her extensive live cabaret and concert performances. She also wrote, directed, choreographed and stars in the live cabaret show Girls, Girls, Girls.
The show also stars Wendy Stapleton and Nikki Nicholls and was the 2002 winner of the Herald Sun Best Cabaret Award. And her live cabaret show, Caught In the Act Again, earned a Green Room Award nomination for Best Cabaret Performance and Best Musical Arrangement. Since 1972 Byrne has been a regular performer at the Christmas Eve Carols by Candlelight concert at Melbourne's Sidney Myer Music Bowl. At the 2005 concert she performed a duet of Silent Night with her five-year-old daughter, Lucille ("Lulu"), who was making her professional stage and television debut. Debra is divorced from Australian actor Neil Melville and is the partner of French musician, Ced Le Meledo, with whom she collaborated on the live show Paris-Melbourne. She has three daughters.
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