Eurovision 1997 – Katrina and The Waves – Love Shine a Light
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Katrina and the Waves, or versions of the band, have been together since the 1970s, until the line-up fans will remember came together in 1981. They have broken up and reunited a number of times, and also made solo material. But as they are remembered once again at Eurovision, where are they now?
The band first came together as The Waves, in 1975, which included guitarist Kimberley Rew and drummer Alex Cooper.
However, they broke up when Kimberley joined a new band, The Soft Boys.
In 1978, Katrina Leskanich founded the band Mama’s Cookin’ with her then-boyfriend Vince de la Cruz.
In 1980 Alex joined the band on the drums, and Bob Jakins on the bass.
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Then, when The Soft Boys broke up in 1981, Kimberley contacted Alex in a bid to renew their musical partnership.
He convinced her to join Mama’s Cookin’ with Katrina, Bob and Vince, and the band was renamed The Waves.
At first, Kimberley was the frontman and Katrina played keyboards, only singing lead vocals on cover songs.
Eventually, Kimberley began to write music for Katrina and she became the main vocalist.
In 1982, Bob left the band and Vince took over on bass, and in August that year they released their first single, Brown Eyed Son, and renamed themselves Katrina and the Waves.
The band started to have success in Canada before their best-known song, Walking on Sunshine, became their runaway hit all over the world.
The song was released in 1985 globally, having first come out in 1983 in Canada.
Walking on Sunshine went to Number Eight in the UK and Number Nine in the USA, and they were nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist.
At this time they toured a great deal but by the 1990s, their popularity had waned despite their continued recording.
However, in 1997 they had an upturn in favour when they won the Eurovision Song Contest for the UK with Love Shine a Light.
Despite this, they dissolved in 1998 for a short time, and each member attempted to start solo careers.
There were some disagreements at this time, and the Waves prevented Katrina to use the name of the group without them.
In 1999 the remaining three band members went their separate ways, and little was heard of them.
Kimberley reunited with the Soft Boys to release an album in 2001, and Katrina released a solo album, Turn the Tide, in 2004.
However, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina arrived and had a detrimental effect on Katrina, who found headlines referring to the band worrying.
She said in an interview, as reported by The NY Times: “The first time I opened the paper and saw ‘Katrina kills 9,’ it was a bit of a shock.
“It’s a very sad situation, but I’m sure the strength and good will of the survivors will turn it around.
“I hope that the true spirit of Walking on Sunshine will prevail.
“I would hate for the title to be tinged with sadness, and I will have to do my own part to help turn that around.”
The band did come back together for a performance in 2013, then in 2019 and 2020 Katrina had a short comeback for the Eurovision Song Contests, which referenced their winning song in its name and saw Katrina perform.
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