- At 12 years old, entered a songwriter's contest and won $1,000 for the tune "I Come From America."
- Became the youngest person to produce, write and sing a No. 1 single when the song "Foolish Beat" reached the top of the charts; it also landed her in the Guinness Book of World Records.
- Made movie debut as an extra in the 1984 comedy Ghostbusters.
- Debut album, Out of the Blue, was released in 1987.
- In early 1990s, in an effort to be taken more seriously, changed first name from Debbie to Deborah.
- Spent a significant part of her entertainment career doing theater, beginning with a turn in the 1992 Broadway production of Les Misérables as Eponine.
- Has appeared on several reality shows, including Fox's American Juniors (2003) and Skating with Celebrities (2006), and NBC's Celebrity Apprentice (2012).
- Featured in a 2005 pictorial for Playboy magazine.
- Inducted into the Hall of Fame of her alma mater, Sanford H. Calhoun High School, in March 2012.