Kim Wilde Biography

Kim Smith, 18 November 1960, Chiswick, London, England. The daughter of 50s pop idol Marty Wilde and Vernons Girls’ vocalist Joyce Smith (née Baker), Kim was signed to Mickie Most’s RAK Records in 1980 after the producer heard a demo Kim recorded with her brother Ricky. Her first single, the exuberant ‘Kids In America’, composed by Ricky and co-produced by Marty, climbed to number 2 in the UK charts. A further Top 10 hit followed with ‘Chequered Love’, while her debut Kim Wilde fared extremely well in the album charts. A more adventurous sound with ‘Cambodia’ indicated an exciting talent. By 1982, she had already sold more records than her father had done in his entire career. While ‘View From A Bridge’ maintained her standing at home, ‘Kids In America’ became a Top 30 hit in the USA. A relatively quiet period followed, although she continued to enjoy minor hits with ‘Love Blonde’, ‘The Second Time’ and a more significant success with the Dave Edmunds -produced ‘Rage To Love’. An energetic reworking of the Supremes’ classic ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’ took her back to UK number 2 at a time when her career seemed flagging. After appearing on the Ferry Aid charity single, ‘Let It Be’, Wilde was back in the Top 10 with ‘Another Step (Closer To You)’, a surprise duet with soul singer Junior Giscombe.

Weary of her image as the girl-next-door, Wilde subsequently sought a sexier profile, which was used in the video to promote ‘Say You Really Want Me’. Her more likely standing as an ‘all-round entertainer’ was underlined by the Christmas novelty hit ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ in the company of comedian Mel Smith. In 1988, the dance-orientated ‘You Came’ reaffirmed her promise, and further Top 10 hits continued with ‘Never Trust A Stranger’ and ‘Four Letter Word’. Later singles gained only lowly positions in the charts and the subsequent Love Is was a pale shadow of Close. On 1995’s Now And Forever Wilde abandoned pop for a slick soul groove. In 1999, Wilde put her recording career behind her to present a series of television gardening shows. Two years later she returned to singing as part of an 80s package tour.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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