Katrina and The Waves

Known for their omnipresent global hit “Walking on Sunshine,” British-American new wavers Katrina and the Waves were more than just a one-hit-wonder. Formed in 1981, the group was composed of American vocalist Katrina Leskanich, bassist Vince de la Cruz, drummer Alex Cooper, and lead guitarist Kimberley Rew, who joined the band after a brief stint in Robyn Hitchcock’s The Soft Boys. Initially named The Waves, they made their official debut with the 1982 EP Shock Horror!, after which Leskanich was promoted to lead vocalist and they renamed themselves Katrina and the Waves. Their debut full-length, Walking on Sunshine, arrived in 1983 and was followed by 1984’s Katrina and The Waves 2. After scoring a hit in Canada with the song “Mexico,” the band’s profile was significantly boosted when The Bangles recorded a cover of their single “Going Down to Liverpool.” This led to a record deal with Capitol Records, who issued their third LP, simply titled Katrina and The Waves, in 1985. The album featured re-recorded versions of their previous two releases and also included a rework of “Walking on Sunshine,” which became a Top 10 single in both the US and the UK, earning the band a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. Following the commercial failure of subsequent albums Waves (1986) and Break of Hearts (1989), Katrina and the Waves were dropped from Capitol. Despite not producing any charting singles during the 90s, the band re-emerged in 1997 by winning the Eurovision Song Contest with “Love Shine a Light,” a track that became their biggest-ever UK hit by reaching Number 3, but eventually failed to follow up with the success, disbanding in 1999 after Leskanich’s departure. In 2013, Katrina and the Waves reconvened for a one-off performance at the San Fermín Festival in Spain.

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