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Kim Wilde

Updated on October 2, 2014

Kim Wilde - 80s Music Icon

I'm sure that many of you remember Kim Wilde as a big-time name in the 80s music scene. You should know, however, that Kim parlayed her musical ability into fame as an award-winning professional gardener in her native England. Both of Kim Wilde's careers are highlighted here.

Public domain photo courtesy Sing365

Childhood

Kim was born into a musical family. Her father is 1950s rock and roll star Marty Wilde, and her mother, Joyce Baker, also had a career as a professional singer with the group The Vernons Girls.

After finishing her schooling at the St. Albans College of Art & Design, Wilde was ready to begin her music career. In 1980, at the age of 20, Kim signed her first deal with RAK Records, which was a British record company, founded by producer Mickie Most in 1969.

Musical Career

Wilde did not have to wait long for her musical career to take off. Her debut album Kim Wilde, hit number one in Germany, and number three in the U. K., while two of the album's singles, "Kids in America" and "Chequered Love" would be major hits all across Europe.

Kim's follow-up album Select, would also sell over a million copies. The singles "Cambodia", and "View From A Bridge", gained Wilde two more solid European hits. Kim's last album at RAK Records would be Catch as Catch Can, and it gave Kim her fifth number one French single "Love Blonde".

Wilde signed with MCA Records in 1984. She would have limited success with the label until two years later when the album Another Step was released. This effort would spawn the smash single "You Keep Me Hanging On", a cover of the Supremes hit, and topped both the U. S. and Australian charts in 1986. Wilde's next album Close , proved to be her most popular album to date, selling over two million

copies, and Kim's popularity continued to increase when she opened for Michael Jackson on his Bad tour in 1988.

Between 1990 and 1995, Wilde released three more albums under the MCA label. Despite some success in a few European countries, Kim generally failed to recapture the magic of her earlier efforts.

Kim Wilde "Kids in America" - Number one hit in 1981

Gardening and Writing Career

After Kim married Hal Fowler in 1996, she felt the need to raise her children in a country setting. The young couple would soon move to the Hertfordshire countryside. Once there, Wilde would develop a sincere love of gardening, and after giving birth to her two children in 1998 and 2000, Kim decided to focus more on her family, rather than on her music career.

Wilde would take her interest in gardening to a higher level. She completed a two year college course on horticulture, and would parlay that into a television hosting job (Garden Invaders) and a gold medal in the 2005 Chelsea Flower Show. Kim would also author two books on gardening 2005's Gardening with Children, and 2006's The First-time Gardener.

Today

Despite her new career in horticulture, Kim has not given up on the music business, and has been touring on a sporadic basis since 2001. Wilde also signed a record deal with EMI and released her first studio album in eleven years with 2006's Never Say Never.

Kim Wilde will always have a place in music history. With a total of 32 albums and compilations and 49 singles during her career, Kim remains the most charted British solo female artist of the 1980s.

Today, Kim continues to juggle family, gardening, and music. While her current priorities in life may be in that order, Kim Wilde will always remain a fixture of the 1980s music scene, as well as a pop music icon.

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Photo Credits: Creative Commons, public domain and Wikimedia.

Have Any "Wilde" Thoughts? - Feel free to comment here. Thanks for visiting!

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    • Cathy Lemke profile image

      Cathy Lemke 3 years ago

      this is a very well layer out post! good read for sure!:)

    • JohnRayner profile image

      JohnRayner 5 years ago

      I love Kim, reminds me of my youth

    • Leilani-m profile image

      Leilani-m 5 years ago

      I had giant poster of Kim Wilde when I was a kid, and they were hard to get here in Croatia at that time :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love her, she did a great duo with Nena about 10 years ago

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      i love the duet of nena (99 red balloons) and kim wilde -Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime. with this song, she jumpstarted her career to the top in germany and other european countries.

    • katemiya profile image

      katemiya 6 years ago

      That is so neat about her gardening.

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 7 years ago from USA

      Wow - I have idea about her "new" career. Very cool.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Nicely done lens; I'll look forward to seeing more! 5 stars.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      Really nice tribute page to Kim!