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Whatever Happened to Kip Winger?

Updated on April 28, 2013
Kip Winger then.
Kip Winger then.

If you were a hair metal fan in the mid to late eighties, then you probably remember Winger. They were a slightly above average pop-metal band, known more for ballads than anything else, but they definitely did light up the charts.

Kip Winger (born Charles Frederick Kip Winger), the band's lead singer, was somewhat of an anti-hair metal hero. Though he did do the big hair and spandex things, he was nowhere near the more effeminate lipstick and eye shadow look that was so prevalent in the men of hair metal at the time.

Winger released their self-titled debut album in 1988, followed by In the Heart of the Young in 1990 and Pull in 1993. By the time Pull was released, hair metal's popularity was in rapid decline. Though they had several top 40 hits, namely Headed for a Heartbreak, Seventeen and Madeline, by the time Nirvana and their grunge band peers took over the charts, Winger wasn't much more than an afterthought.

Every now and then, one of their songs will pop up on a Best of the 80's list somewhere, but it's been years since many of us have heard their music.

So... Whatever happened to Kip Winger?

Winger - Seventeen Official Music Video

Kip Winger now.
Kip Winger now.

Kip Winger Now

Believe it or not, hair metal was not Winger's first musical love. Before hitting the big time, he studied classical music, including composition.

One of the things he's been working on since the demise of hair metal is his classical work. He has actually written a thirty minute composition called Ghosts on commission for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and the composition has been used for performances by the San Francisco Ballet. He was actually nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award for Excellence in Music.

He has also produced some of his own solo albums as well, releasing three of them: This Conversation Seems Like A Dream, Down Incognito, and Songs from the Ocean Floor. Down Incognito is comprised of acoustic versions of his previously released music, including Winger's biggest song, Headed for a Heartbreak.

In 2001, Winger reformed to record one new song for the Very Best of Winger. In 2006 they reunited again with it's original lineup and released an album, IV and another in 2009 called Karma, which was well received by critics but, although they did tour to support it, the sales didn't materialize.

Although Kip Winger will likely never achieve the fame or success he had with Winger in the 1980s, don't feel too sorry for the guy. Not only has his rock career included stints with Alice Cooper, he has played on songs by Bob Dylan and Twisted Sister, he has written music that has been recorded by other musicians.

With the Winger reunion still in full swing and side jobs like the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, he seems to be doing just fine.

Kip Winger - How Far Will We Go Official Music Video


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    • profile image

      Meena 3 years ago

      I'll second the fisnih early part! Also, don't compete with other social/cultural events unless you're going to make it FUN. A World Series night might be perfect for a training meeting, as long as the content ties to the fun. Break the group up into two teams and have nine innings' worth of bite-sized content.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 5 years ago from North Florida

      Efficient Admin,

      I'm with you. Substance abuse has destroyed a lot of people from that era!

      Thank you for commenting! :)

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Good for him! I'm glad he had a happy ending (after the metal age) -- an ending that did not include drugs and alcohol killing him.

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image

      Michael John Mele 5 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @Georgie Lowery I was into everything, I enjoyed Slayer, Metallica and a load of other bands/singers. All I remember is all the girls thought he was hot, him and Brett Michaels of Poison...those bastards had it all.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 5 years ago from North Florida


      By the time Winger came out, I was into Metallica and Slayer, so I missed the boat. I do remember their songs, though. I used to think Kip looked like he belonged in a football uniform and not Aqua Net.

      Thank you for commenting! :)

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image

      Michael John Mele 5 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      Like Stewart from Beavis and Butt-Head, I was a fan of Winger. Winger is like Vanilla Ice, it's cool to hate them now, but back then all the haters were jamming out to Seventeen.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 6 years ago from North Florida


      I'd heard a few things about him on and off over the years, but didn't know he was up to as much as he has been.

      And you're right, he did age well!

      Thank you for the comment!

    • Virtual Treasures profile image

      Kacie Turner 6 years ago from Michigan

      Wow! I had no idea! I'll have to check out his new work. I didn't even realized he released anything in 2009. He did age well!

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 6 years ago from North Florida


      He didn't age too badly, did he?

      Thank you!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I used to love Winger! Thanks for researching this and sharing it with everyone. Kip still looks pretty hot.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 6 years ago from North Florida


      I think about these guys all the time and sometimes check up on them to see what they're doing. I'm a hair metal fan, too!

      Thank you for the comment!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Wow - This is one of those subjects you don't think about until someone mentions it. then your engrossed, which is what I was with this hub.

      I'm a hair band fan, child of the 80's and Winger was one I followed.

      Thanks Georgie. This was great.

    • sweetjamieblueyes profile image

      Jamie Sykes 6 years ago from Lewisville, North Carolina

      You do not suck! If anybody sucks, it's me!

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 6 years ago from North Florida


      I've had some that I didn't publish for a while because I thought they sucked, though!

    • sweetjamieblueyes profile image

      Jamie Sykes 6 years ago from Lewisville, North Carolina

      I was actually singing along with Bringing On the Heartbreak the other day in the car. Can't help but sing along to that one! Great Hub! You never have a bad Hub, tho! You're awesome!


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