A pop singer with over 10 million album sales to her name, Kim Wilde is also a TV presenter, writer and a radio DJ. Born in 1960, Wilde is perhaps best known for her hit singles that were released in the 1980s. Her singles have made it into the top 10 in the UK on seven occasions and she has topped the charts in the United States, a big achievement for a British solo artist.
In 1987, Wilde had a huge hit with the charity single, “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree”, which she recorded with the comedian and film director, Mel Smith. Two of her albums, Kim Wilde, her 1981 debut LP, and Close of 1988, reached the top 10 in the UK album charts. In 1998, while still performing in the UK and elsewhere, the singer began another career as a landscape gardener.
Kim Wilde's 1980s pop career
The daughter of the rock 'n' roll musician Marty Wilde, Kim Smith became Kim Wilde in 1980, thereby adopting her father's earlier stage name. After studying for a foundation course at St Albans College of Art and Design, the young singer signed to RAK Records, where she recorded her hugely successful debut single, “Kids In America”. It was a hit in the UK as well as France, Germany and Australia. Her first studio album came out that year and spawned further single success with “Chequered Love”, which performed well across Europe and topped the charts in South Africa.
In the following two years, two further albums came out, cementing Wilde's success as a recording artist of pop songs. “View From a Bridge” was a notable single of this time; a song that got to number one in France. In 1984, Wilde moved from RAK to MCA Records and set about working on a fourth studio album, Teases and Dares. In 1988, along with the release of Close, the performer began a tour around Europe in support of Michael Jackson, who was then promoting his Bad album. Around this time, Wilde also opened a series of shows for the British musician, David Bowie.
Kim Wilde's later output
Wilde's 1990s output began with some guitar-driven tracks as well as the release of a retrospective album of her singles to that point, which sold well. She went on to appear in a musical in the mid-1990s in London and scored a minor hit with the single, “Breakin' Away".
From 2001, Wilde returned to a poppier sound for her releases. These included Never Say Never of 2006, which spawned the hit “You Came”. Wilde also embarked on a tour with other 80s artists, such as Paul Young and Howard Jones. Snapshots and Wilde Winter Songbook came out in 2011 and 2013, respectively.