(Read about Kim Wilde & Nik Kershaw after the video)
Kim Wilde (born Kim Smith; 18 November 1960) is an English pop singer, author, DJ and television presenter who burst onto the music scene in 1981 with her debut single "Kids in America", which reached number two in the UK. In 1983, she received the Brit Award for Best British Female. In 1986, she had a UK number two hit with her version of the Supremes' song "You Keep Me Hangin' On", which also went on to be a major US hit, topping the charts there in 1987. Between 1981 and 1996, she had 25 singles reach the Top 50 of the UK singles chart. Her other hits include "Chequered Love" (1981), "You Came" (1988) and "Never Trust a Stranger" (1988). In 2003, she collaborated with Nena on the song "Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime", which topped the Dutch charts.
Worldwide, she has sold over 10 million albums and 20 million singles. Starting in 1998, while still active in music, she has branched into an alternative career as a landscape gardener.
The eldest child of 1950s rock 'n' roller Marty Wilde (birth name Reginald Smith) and Joyce Baker, who had been a member of the singing and dancing group the Vernons Girls, Kim Smith was born in the West London suburb of Chiswick and attended Oakfield Preparatory School, in the Southeast London area of Dulwich. When she was nine, the family moved to Hertfordshire, where she was educated at Tewin and later Presdales School in Ware. In 1980, at age 20, she completed a foundation course at St Albans College of Art & Design. Kim Wilde, was signed to RAK Records by Mickie Most.
Wilde released her debut single "Kids in America" in January 1981. An instant success, it reached number two in the UK Singles Chart and scaled the Top 5 in other countries such as Germany, France and Australia. Although it achieved only moderate success in the US, peaking at number 25 when released in 1982, it is often regarded today as Wilde's signature song. Her debut album Kim Wilde repeated the success of the single, spawning two further hits in "Chequered Love" (Top 5 in the UK, France, Australia and Germany) and the UK-only single "Water on Glass".
Wilde's follow-up album was 1982's Select, led by the hit singles "Cambodia" and "View from a Bridge". Both were number 1 hits in France and reached Top 10 positions in Germany and Australia. At the time, there was some controversy about Wilde's hesitation to do live concerts. Her first concerts in September 1982 took place in Denmark, before embarking on a UK-wide tour in October. Wilde's third album, Catch as Catch Can (1983) was a relative failure. The first single from the album, "Love Blonde", was another success in France and Scandinavia, but failed to have major success in other countries. The failure of the album led to her leaving RAK and signing with MCA Records in the summer of 1984.
The MCA years
Wilde's first MCA album Teases & Dares was again overlooked in her home country, but fared better in Germany, France and Scandinavia as well as scoring another German Top 10 single with "The Second Time" (which was Top 30 in the UK). The video for this song appeared in an episode of the 1980s TV hit Knight Rider in 1985. The second single, "The Touch", was not a commercial success, but the third single, the rockabilly "Rage to Love", made the UK top 20 in 1985. All of Wilde's songs up to this point, including all her major hits, had been written by her father Marty and brother, Ricky. On Teases & Dares she penned two songs. Meanwhile, Wilde had embarked on three European concert tours (1983, '85 and '86).
On her fifth album, 1986's Another Step, Wilde wrote or co-wrote most of the songs. The album's lead single "Schoolgirl" flopped in Europe and Australia, but Wilde's fortunes improved in spectacular fashion with the album's second single, a Hi-NRG remake of The Supremes classic "You Keep Me Hangin' On". After topping the charts in Australia and Canada and peaking at number two in the UK, it became a US number one single in 1987. With that hit, she became the fifth UK female solo artist ever to top the US Hot 100, following Petula Clark, Lulu, Sheena Easton, and Bonnie Tyler. Wilde later admitted to "not knowing the song terribly well" beforehand:
"Basically we just went into the studio with a lot of energy and not a lot of reverence. We changed quite a lot of the song and I think that's why it was so successful. It was a very spontaneous idea.
Her popularity, especially in her native UK, was revitalised and she scored further Top 10 hits in 1987 with "Another Step (Closer to You)" (recorded with Junior) and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (a Comic Relief charity single, recorded with comedian Mel Smith).
In 1988, Wilde released her biggest selling album to date, Close, which returned her to the UK top 10 and spent almost eight months on the UK album chart. It produced four major European hits: "Hey Mr.Heartache", "You Came", "Never Trust a Stranger" and "Four Letter Word", (the last 3 were Top 10 hits in the UK). The release of the album coincided with a tour of Europe, where she was the opening act for Michael Jackson's Bad World Tour. Wilde released her next album, Love Moves, in 1990. The album barely made the UK Top 40, and, although it was a Top 10 success in Scandinavian countries, it failed to sell as well as its predecessor and only spawned two minor hits, "It's Here" a Top 20 success in Middle and Northern Europe as well as "Can't Get Enough (Of Your Love)", her last Top 20 hit in France. She toured Europe again, this time opening for fellow Briton David Bowie.
A collaboration with Rick Nowels, who had produced hits for Stevie Nicks and Belinda Carlisle, resulted in the guitar-driven pop of the single "Love Is Holy" and the album Love Is (1992). The album's success was again limited to a small number of countries, though the single became another Top 20 hit in the UK, and the second single ("Heart Over Mind") also made the top 40. In 1993, she released her first official compilation album The Singles Collection 1981–1993, which was a success throughout Europe and Australia and the dancefloor-influenced single "If I Can't Have You" (a cover of the Yvonne Elliman song from the film Saturday Night Fever that was penned by the Bee Gees), became her last UK Top 20 Hit as well as a number 3 hit in Australia.
Wilde embarked on a huge "Greatest Hits" concert tour through Europe in 1994 and also toured Australia and Japan for the first time in six years. Her next album, Now & Forever (1995), was a commercial failure worldwide. Her single "Breakin' Away", however, was a minor hit, and the follow-up, "This I Swear", was also a minor hit in Europe. She released a single "Shame" in 1996. From February 1996 to February 1997, Wilde appeared in London's West End production of the musical, Tommy. After this, Wilde started recording a new album. However, there were problems with her record company – MCA Records had by that time become part of Universal Music – and legal problems concerning the songs. Subsequently, Wilde abandoned the album which remains unreleased.
Return to pop
Since November 2001, Wilde has toured the UK three times (and once in Australia during 2003) as part of the Here and Now Tour, an Eighties revival concert series, together with artists such as Paul Young, The Human League, Belinda Carlisle, Howard Jones and Five Star. New recordings also followed; in 2001, she recorded a new track, "Loved", for a compilation album which became a surprise hit in Belgium. She recorded the single "Born to be Wild" in 2002, and in summer of 2003 she had a major hit with "Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime", a duet with German pop star Nena. The single was a Top 10 hit in Germany, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands and Switzerland.
In 2006, Wilde signed a new record deal with EMI Germany and released the first single from her tenth studio album in many countries across Europe, Scandinavia and Asia. "You Came 2006" charted Top 20 in most of these countries and became her biggest solo hit in Germany since 1988. The album Never Say Never included eight new tracks plus five re-worked previous hits and has charted in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The second single from the album, which was voted for by fans on her official website was "Perfect Girl", released in November 2006 and spent nine weeks on the German Top 100 singles chart. A third single, "Together We Belong", was released in March 2007 and a fourth single, "Baby Obey Me", was released in Germany as a remix featuring German rapper Ill Inspecta.
Since 2003, Wilde has appeared on numerous festival bills and concerts all over Europe with her own band. In early September 2009, a brand new single, "Run to You", recorded as a duet with Swedish rock band Fibes, Oh Fibes!, was released in Sweden. The song reached the Swedish Top 30.
In 2010, Wilde signed a new record deal with Sony Music Germany. The label released her eleventh studio album, Come Out and Play on 17 August, with "Lights Down Low" preceding that as lead single. The album reached number 10 in Germany and was followed by a tour in Europe in February and March 2011.
Wilde's twelfth studio album, Snapshots, was released on 26 August 2011 and features cover versions of songs hand-picked from the last five decades. A double release of "It's Alright" and "Sleeping Satellite" was released on 19 August as the lead single. Two further singles failed to reach the chart. Kim toured in support of the album in Germany in March 2012. In November 2012, Wilde was featured as the lead vocalist on Reflekt's "A Beautiful House," which can be found on Armada Music's "Antillas & Dankmann's Best Remix 2002-2012" compilation.
Nicholas David "Nik" Kershaw (born 1 March 1958) is an English singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer.
Kershaw came to prominence in the mid 1980s as a solo artist, releasing eight singles that entered the Top 40 charts in the UK during the 1980s, including "Wouldn't It Be Good", "Dancing Girls", "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", "Human Racing", "The Riddle", "Wide Boy", "Don Quixote", and "When a Heart Beats". His 62 weeks on the UK Singles Chart through 1984 and 1985 beat all other solo artists. Kershaw appeared at the dual-venue concert Live Aid in 1985, and has also penned a number of hits for other artists, including a UK number one single in 1991 for Chesney Hawkes, "The One and Only". Elton John has described Kershaw as "the best songwriter of a generation".
Nicholas David Kershaw was born on 1 March 1958, in Bristol, England, and grew up in Ipswich, Suffolk. His father was a flautist and his mother was an opera singer. He was educated at Northgate Grammar School for Boys where he played the guitar – he was self-taught on this instrument. He left school in the middle of his A-levels and got a job at an unemployment benefit office. He also sang in a number of underground Ipswich bands. However, when the last of these, Fusion, split up in 1982, he embarked on a full-time solo career as a musician and songwriter.
Kershaw was unemployed for a year after leaving Fusion, but during this time he found manager Mickey Modern after placing an advertisement in the magazine Melody Maker. Modern secured a record deal for Kershaw at MCA. In September 1983, Kershaw released his first single "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", which reached Number 47 in the UK Singles Chart. It became a major hit in Scandinavia, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
At the beginning of 1984 Kershaw released his breakthrough song "Wouldn't It Be Good", which reached Number 4 in the UK, and was a big success in Europe, particularly in Ireland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Scandinavia, and also in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The music video, featuring Kershaw as a chroma key-suited alien, received heavy rotation from MTV, helping the song to reach No. 46 in the United States. He enjoyed three more Top 20 hits from his debut solo album Human Racing, including the title track and a successful re-issue of "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me". This track ultimately proved his biggest hit as a performer when it reached Number 2 in the UK.
Kershaw's second album was The Riddle. The title track, released in November 1984, proved to be his third international hit single, reaching Number 3 in the UK and Ireland, and Number 4 in New Zealand. The album also spawned two more UK Top 10 hits, "Wide Boy" and "Don Quixote", as it went multi-platinum. During this time, Kershaw toured extensively with his backing band The Krew, consisting of Keith Airey, Tim Moore, Mark Price and Dennis Smith.
In July 1985, Kershaw was among the performers at Live Aid, held at Wembley Stadium. He has described the experience as "absolutely terrifying". The concert turned out to be the peak of his career, as his stardom began to wane soon afterwards and he enjoyed only one more UK Top 40 hit. He continued to record and release records and collaborated with others on a number of projects. Also in 1985, Elton John asked Kershaw to play guitar on John's hit single, "Nikita".
A cover of "Wouldn't it be Good" by the Danny Hutton Hitters appeared on the soundtrack of the 1986 teen romantic comedy-drama Pretty in Pink. Later that same year, Kershaw's third solo album, Radio Musicola, was released to critical acclaim but to little commercial success. The Works was released in 1989, also to little success. Two singles were released from the album, "One Step Ahead" and "Elisabeth's Eyes".
Kershaw's prowess as a songwriter served him well in 1991, when his song "The One and Only" appeared on the soundtrack to the British film Buddy's Song, and in the American movie Doc Hollywood. "The One and Only" proved to be a UK Number 1 for the star of Buddy's Song, Chesney Hawkes. In 1993, The Hollies had a minor hit with another of Kershaw's songs, "The Woman I Love". During the mid-1990s he also wrote and produced material for the boy band Let Loose, with two of the tracks ("Seventeen" and "Everybody Say Everybody Do") achieving reasonable success.
The year 1999 saw the release of the album 15 Minutes. Kershaw decided to record the tracks himself, when he could not envisage them being recorded by other artists. The album spawned two singles, "Somebody Loves You" and "What Do You Think of It So Far?", the latter a song described as "an elegant and soaring ode to the transience of time, infused with both self-doubt and an acceptance of life that can only come with maturity".
The follow-up album, To Be Frank, was released in 2001. Over the years, Kershaw has collaborated on albums with artists such as Elton John, Bonnie Tyler, Tony Banks and Gary Barlow.
In 2005, Kershaw released Then And Now, a collection of earlier material with four new tracks. In 2006, he completed another solo album, You've Got to Laugh, available only through his website or digitally through iTunes. This album contained twelve tracks and was released on the musician's own label, Shorthouse Records. Neither Then And Now nor You've Got To Laugh was promoted by a tour. The year also saw the digital re-release of his 1980s back catalogue including Human Racing, The Riddle, Radio Musicola and The Works.
In August 2009, Kershaw performed at Fairports Cropredy Convention and the Rewind Festival on Temple Island Meadows at Henley-on-Thames.
On 13 May 2010, Kershaw appeared on stage and hosted 'Our Friends Acoustic' in aid of Mencap. He performed "The Riddle", "Wouldn't It Be Good", "Dancing Girls" and "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me". Other 1980s performers joined him and performed their own songs, including Andy Bell, Carol Decker, Howard Jones, Jimmy Somerville, China Crisis and Steve Strange at The O2 in London.
Kershaw wrote songs and performed for the soundtrack of the 2010 film, Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks. He wrote and sang the theme song, "If It Gets Much Better Than This". He also appeared as an extra in the penultimate scene, presenting a copy of the book to Hawks for signing in the book shop.
Following the release of his eighth studio album in 2012 (Ei8ht), Kershaw undertook a small tour of the UK, with some European dates. As part of each show he played the entirety of his debut album, which had been re-mastered and re-released in March 2012.
In 2012, Kershaw was featured as the lead singer on a new recording of "The Lamia", originally recorded by Genesis for their 1974 album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, with Steve Hackett for the latter's Genesis Revisited II album. He is also featured as a guest performer on the same song on Hackett's Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith CD and DVD, released November 2013.
Kershaw performed a solo acoustic set at Fairport's Cropredy Convention in August 2013. He was on tour in the UK and Ireland in Autumn 2014. He continues to perform at 80s revival events and festivals each year. In the latter part of 2015 he performed a 31-date tour of the UK, on a double bill with Go West, supported by Carol Decker.
On November 11, Nik performed in Reykjavík, Iceland, together with the band Todmobile. He joined them after a short set of eight songs and played guitar in three Todmobile songs.
Kershaw's first wife was Canadian Sheri Kershaw, herself a musician who featured on several of Kershaw's early albums. The couple married in July 1983, had three children together, and divorced in 2003. His second son was born with Down syndrome. Kershaw remarried in 2009 and has also had a child with his second wife Sarah.