When Kim Wilde's "Kids in America" went top 20 in February 1981, she lined up in that week's chart alongside some of the big names of the day: Adam & the Ants, Ultravox, the Stray Cats, Toyah, Rainbow, Shaky and Madness. It was her first single, she was an "overnight sensation" and there were those who harboured suspicions that her career might prove to be as long as that of Joe Dolce's, perpetrator of that month's number 1, "Shaddupa your face".
But Kim Wilde has outlived them all. 12 years on she's released her ninth LP, and her 26th single, with sales of over 6 million albums and 11 million singles under her belt. And with countless gold and platinum discs lining her walls, the "overnight sensation" of 1981 is now the most successful British female solo artist of all time.
In 1990, following the release of her 7th album, "Love moves", she supported David Bowie in a string of European stadium dates. "The Michael jackson and David Bowie tours were both a great challenge for me and at first I wondered if it was beyond me to play in front of such enormous crowds. I had to learn a lot of things very quickly - about working the crowd and working my voice, about pacing. But in the end, it was amazing. We were doing basically a greatest hits package. It went down really well. The songs still sound really good, even the very early ones. There's so much pretentious, self conscious pompous pop mucis around, I'm actually proud to get out there and sing songs like 'Chequered love', just simple, fun enjoyable pop music."
Looking back, Kim muses, "I think people have a healthier attitude these days towards shamelessly enjoying pop music. When I started at the beginning of the 80's, punk music still had a hold and there were all the style victims around, painfully desperate to be cool. Nowadays there seems to be a lot of bands saying, 'we don't want to be hip and trendy, we just want to make great pop records'. It's what I've always done and what I'll always do in the future."
"A hit record is simply in the grooves - that's why people go out and buy it. You can forget the statements, forget what's hip and trendy and substitute it for what matters. A brilliant melody with good lyrics. Good pop music is where its at, always has been and always will be."
Kim Wilde's current tour of Australia sees her playing Brisbane at Festival Hall on 27th Feb.