Learning curve: Kim Wilde

I’ve always looked for the magic in everything. 
I almost died of meningitis when I was three and it had a huge impact on how I viewed the world. It was as if it was a miracle that I was here at all. As a little girl, I was captivated by the way the pavement near our home in Chiswick sparkled in the sunshine. I thought they were wishes that had the power to make my dreams come true. We moved to Hertfordshire when I was 10 and that’s when my imagination really went into overdrive. We had a lovely garden and I believed I was a woodland nymph surrounded by fairies who were all my friends.

Never underestimate how music brings people together.
My dad Marty [83] was a famous musician in the ‘SOs and my mum Joyce [81] was a session singer. They were always playing artists like Abba, the Carpenters and The Beatles to me and my brother Ricky [60, a songwriter]. The four of us would sing harmonies around the house, which made us a close unit. Dad used to sing Ricky and me to sleep with this lullaby he’d written. 

I never set out to be famous. 
Growing up, I wanted to be a backing singer like my mum, while Ricky was more interested in songwriting. In 1982, I was twiddling my thumbs at art college when Ricky bagged a meeting with famous producer Mickie Most [who was behind hits including I’m Into Something Good by Herman’s Hermits] at Rak Records. He could see my brother had a lot of talent and wanted him to record a demo – So Ricky got me in to do some vocals. Mickie heard me sing, saw potential and the rest is history. 

My parents taught me to trust my instincts. 
Just before I filmed the Kids In America music video, I went in to see Mickie, who was very powerful and experienced. He’d bought me loads of khaki green army shirts for filming. I took one look and said: β€œThey’re not for me. | want to wear a black-and-white striped top that I got from a jumble sale.” It became one of the most famous black-and-white striped tops in pop history! My mum and dad gave me the confidence to always say what I think. 

Gardening has always kept me grounded. 
My feet barely touched the ground in the β€˜80s, so it’s no surprise that I ended up moving back to Hertfordshire after 10 years of non-stop work. I was seduced by the slowness of my garden. Working in music, it feels like you can be here today and gone tomorrow. My garden is aconstant and changes slowly – I take comfort from that.

I never wanted kids – but having children was the best thing I’ve ever done. 
When I was in my early 20s, my parents had my siblings Roxanne [43, a backing singer] and Marty Jr [41, a landscape gardener]. Nothing puts you off having a baby like living under the same roof as two. It was only when I met my husband Hal [54, actor], that it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. Being a mum to Rose, 22, and Harry, 24, and seeing them inherit my love of music has been a privilege. 

Buy tickets for Kim’s Greatest Hits tour at Kimwilde.com.