Rock chick at 50: Kim Wilde about rebellion and a comeback

Kim Wilde was never the ultimate gay diva, and yet hits like ‘Kids in America’, ‘You came’ or ‘You keep me hangin’ on ‘belong to the personal life soundtrack of many gay and lesbians. After many years of self-chosen retreat, ‘Come out and play’ will release her new album on the market. Torsten Bless spoke with the pop veteran, who is 50 years old on 18 November.

In an interview, you said, the status of pop star you outgrow, now you’re a “rock chick”. Is dat for a woman of almost 50 years not a little brave?
(Laughs) I do not think there is an age limit for a “rock chick”, I’d like to be a 70, and I think I earned the title honestly in the last five years thanks to a lot of live performances I have done. I wanted the new songs to have the power of hits like “Kids in America” without being too retro. There are currently many bands that take the retro sound and turn it into something special – I do not see why I can not do it.

Do you regret anything in your own life?
There were times when I almost broke the chunks. For example, I was offered to go on tour with Michael Jackson in 1988. My first instinct at that time was to say no – I’m just Kim Wilde, how could I be on the same stage as the King of Pop? But from my environment there was much encouragement, my parents, my brother and others helped me to believe in myself. From time to time one has to do one for one another, one can not always be strong out of itself, can also benefit from the energy of the people around you who love you.

You’ve run through with 20, afterwards the career went steeply uphill, was not that sometimes a bit much?
There were times when everything seemed to me really uncomfortable, I was just in the twenties, in my private life it was like herbs and turnips, but I had to get out and always be strong, look great. After 15 years, I had the pop-business and myself so tired that I thought it would be high time now, and above all, myself to do a favour and get off. Then I met my future husband, we founded a family and my life changed dramatically.

In the last decade, the importance of the Internet has grown immensely, and also the importance of the media spread in the media, see Lady Gaga. Do you feel particularly under pressure when you return?
Well, I felt very pressured especially in the eighties. Sometimes this pressure intimidates me a bit. Today everyone knows that I am mother, that I am almost 50 and can not keep up with standards of physical perfection. I already have the pressure a woman is dragging around with me at my age. You can be 50 and look like it, or 50 will look like 35 or 40, I’d rather be in the second camp.

The eighties brought out many gay musicians, Boy George or Andy Bell from Erasure, Frankie goes to Hollywood, or Jimmy Somerville. How did you experience your colleagues at the time?
I found all these artists great! Many of them had a great way to talk about their sexuality and a great sense of humor. They were clever enough to make some people look pretty stupid with their prejudices. And they did great records, which were already saying everything. However, I have not thought so closely about it since I have never heard of the people who care about the sexual orientation of their fellow men.

The album “Come out and play” has been released by Columbia Music SevenOne / Sony. Live she will be on 26 February 2011 in the Muffathalle. More at