Pop star at 20. Reboot at 30. Landscape gardener, author & TV host
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“I’ve always been a sucker for a challenge.“ Kim Wilde, June 2011
Pop star at 20. Reboot at 30. Landscape gardener, author, TV host and mother of two at 40. Comeback at 50. Kim Wilde is not only one of the most successful British musicians of all time, but above all she is a multi-talented and strong woman.
With 1981’s Kids in America, twenty-year-old Kim Smith becomes a star over night, and for ten years remains an adored pop princess. Together with brother Ricky and father Marty she writes hit upon hit, tours with Michael Jackson and David Bowie, receives glowing compliments from her childhood heroes, and dances at Rolling Stone Bill Wyman’s wedding. A decade in the music circus that has indeed cost many a colleague their grip on reality. However, Kim does not only share her stage name Wilde with her musical family, she also inherits the professional attitude. She is not about fame and parties. Despite being wildly determined to emulate her idols like Debbie Harry, Kirsty MacColl and Abba from an early age on, her actual dream is to be able to make a living from music. To Kim, pop really is a profession.
As she turns her back on London at the age of thirty, and moves into an old barn outside the city boundaries, she sets the course for ‘phase two’ of her life. The young woman has achieved everything in the 80’s pop world and longs for something else. She seizes the mood and accepts a part in the musical Tommy for the time being. This ‘halfway house’ bestows her with the love of her life and two children – her courage and her energy allow her to pursue a new challenge soon after. To create a garden for her kids, she studies landscape gardening and harvests proper respect. Kim Wilde authors gardening books, hosts TV and radio shows, writes for newspapers and is awarded at the renowned Chelsea Flower Show. Whatever this woman tackles, she is serious about it.
Kim is past forty, by now brunette, and completely happy, when she is asked to make a guest singing appearance at a local charity event. At the same time, the business rediscovers its favourites, and invitations for tours with companions like ABC and The Human League drop in. She barely hesitates. Admittedly, she wonders if the audience still wants to see her – however, fear of failure does not worry her at all. Quite the opposite: the thrill actually tempts her, and it is clear from the first show on, that her fans have not forgotten her. In fact, the relationship has indeed become more immediate today. It is not so much about a fantasy, nurtured by an image, anymore – but about a shared history with the songs.
Since her comeback, Kim Wilde focuses even more on the live performances with her committed band and often adds cover versions to her shows. Finally, the euphoric reactions lead her to produce a full album with them. After more than three decades in the business, eleven albums, and over thirty singles the timing for such a personal retrospective is perfect: confident and relaxed, Kim Wilde embarks on a journey into her past and by that prepares a unique gift for her audience. With Snapshots, she resurrects the classics of a whole generation – affectionately interpreted and masterfully arranged – to celebrate them together with her fans. Snapshots is a sincere and sweeping bow to the timeless magic of pop.