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Katrina and the Waves

  • 🇬🇧 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
  • Years Active
    1981 - 1999
Katrina and the Waves are best known for the upbeat 1985 pop anthem "Walking on Sunshine," an international chart success that went on to become a staple of television commercials and
movie soundtracks.

Guitarist Kimberley Rew and drummer Alex Cooper formed the Waves in 1975 in Cambridge, England. When Rew left the group to join the Robyn Hitchcock-led Soft Boys, Cooper signed on with Mama's Cookin', featuring American expats Katrina Leskanich on vocals and Vince de la Cruz on guitar. After the Soft Boys split, Rew joined Mama's Cookin', which soon renamed itself Katrina and the Waves, with de la Cruz moving to bass.

In addition to a pair of LPs issued on Canadian indie Attic Records, Katrina and the Waves earned notice when the Bangles covered Rew's "Going Down to Liverpool," and in 1985 Capitol Records issued their self-titled debut LP. The energetic, Motown-inspired "Walking on Sunshine" reached number nine in the U.S., number eight in the U.K. and number three in Canada, going on to become one of the most lucrative publishing licenses in the world thanks to incessant airplay and advertising royalties. Katrina and the Waves never again reached the same commercial peaks in North America, but in 1997 the band won the Eurovision Song Contest with "Love Shine a Light."

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