Kim Wilde (born Kim Smith, November 18, 1960) is an English pop singer, gardener, and pop cultural figure. She debuted in 1981 with the hit Kids in America, which was number two in the British music chart.
Kim was born in Chiswick, West London as the first child of 1950s rock ‘n’ roller Marty Wilde (real name Reginald Smith) and Joyce Baker, formerly of the British singing and dancing group the Vernons Girls.
She moved with her family to Hertfordshire at the age of 9 where she was educated at Presdales School, Ware, before completing a foundation course at St Albans College of Art & Design in 1980.
Kim was signed to Mickie Most’s RAK Records in 1980 and released her first single, Kids in America, in January 1981. It was an instant success, reaching no. 2 in the UK singles chart and ending up in the top 5 all over Europe. In the US, the single peaked at no. 25 on Billboard Hot 100, and in their year-end Hot 100 chart for 1982, it ranked at no. 85.
The debut album Kim Wilde followed later that year and spawned a further two hits, “Chequered Love” and “Water On Glass”. Kim recorded a total of three albums for RAK Records before signing to MCA Records in the summer of 1984. Most of the songs, including all her major hits, were written by her father Marty and brother Ricki Wilde
Six subsequent albums for MCA Records have included international hits such as “Another Step (Closer To You)” (recorded with Junior), “You Came”, “Never Trust A Stranger”, “Four Letter Word”, “If I Can’t Have You” (a cover of the Yvonne Elliman (Bee Gees written) song from the movie Saturday Night Fever) and a remake of the Supremes classic “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” – which gave Kim her first USA Number 1 single in 1987 – all of which have contributed to total worldwide album and single sales in excess of 7 million and 12 million respectively. This same period corresponded with Kim’s development as a songwriter having written or co-written the majority of the songs on the MCA albums including many of the above hit singles.
Kim received the Best Female Vocalist Award from the British Phonographic Industry in the United Kingdom in 1983 and has subsequently received two further nominations in this category. Also, she has received numerous silver, gold and platinum records from all over the world.