Singer Debbie Wileman to bring Judy Garland to life with concert at The Plaza Live

(Photos courtesy Katz PR)

This Pride Month, you’ll find yourself transported back somewhere over the rainbow as Debbie Wileman brings the legendary Judy Garland’s voice back to life for a concert series to commemorate what would have been the star’s 100th birthday.

Wileman, a 38-year-old English singer from London, also honored the “Wizard of Oz” star by releasing an album on June 10 — Garland’s birthday — titled “I’m Still Here” featuring both songs by Garland and songs Wileman felt Garland would have sung today.

Debbie Wileman’s album “I’m Still Here.” (Courtesy of Sean Katz)

“She’s just always been someone I’ve loved listening to and watching on screen,” Wileman says.

Wileman has been a “massive” fan of Garland since she was around six years old and that when she entered her 20s, she decided it was time for her to put her talent to the test.

“Because I was such a fan and because I realized I could sing a bit like her, I decided to do my final degree piece about Judy Garland,” she says.

Wileman attained a degree in performing arts from the University of Salford in Manchester, England and attributes the path she’s taken in her career to Garland.

“She’s opened a doorway into something new,” Wileman said.

When she was around 11 years old, she put on her first Garland impression in front of her grandmother to make her laugh. She said she’s always had a knack for mimicking voices and accents. Her first time singing in public was while impersonating American pop singer Cher.

Her acclaim arose during the COVID-19 pandemic when she saw how lonely her friends and family were feeling and came up with her own trend, “a song a day,” where she’d sing a new song each day to cheer them up.

“I thought that some of my friends might like it — that was literally my expectation. I didn’t think anything would come from it,” Wileman says. She sang a different song for 100 consecutive days, giving her plenty of time to unknowingly climb the ladder to stardom.

Wileman said she had no idea her singing would achieve the recognition that it did and that she only shared it for her “650 Facebook friends.” Now, she gets to embark on a tour across the U.S., and Orlando is lucky enough to be among the stops.

“I’m Still Here” was not only orchestrated and produced by Grammy Award winner Steve Orich, but Wileman also recorded “Over the Rainbow” in the same room at MGM Studios Garland did 84 years ago. At her shows, she’ll perform both some of Garland’s classics and songs she never recorded, as well as songs released long after Garland’s passing sung in a “Judy style.”

“I’m trying to celebrate her life and work in a positive way and sort of imagine what she might have been doing if she were still around,” Wileman says.

More than anything, Wileman wants to celebrate the positives Garland has brought to this world and pay homage to her while simultaneously capturing the attention of people and bringing smiles to their faces.

“If you’re lucky enough to actually have a chance like I am now to do something you love doing … I mean wow, that’s brilliant,” Wileman says. “I’m just trying to enjoy everything as it comes.”

“Happy 100th Birthday Judy! A Musical Celebration,” starring Debbie Wileman as Judy Garland and conducted by Ron Abel, will be at The Plaza Live June 22. Doors open at 7 p.m. and show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $65 and are available at

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