Walsh in October 2013
|Born||Kimberley Jane Walsh
20 November 1981 (age 32)
|Other names||Kimberley Harrison|
|Occupation||Singer-songwriter, actress, model,|
TV presenter, dancer
|Spouse(s)||James Harrison (m. 2001)|
|Associated acts||Girls Aloud, James Harrison|
Kimberley Jane, Lady Harrison OBE (née Walsh; born 20 November 1981), better known by her maiden name as Kimberley Walsh, is an English singer-songwriter, actress, model and TV presenter, best known as a member of British girlband Girls Aloud. Since the group broke up in 2013 she has released a solo album Center Stage which reached the top twenty in the UK, but spent two weeks at the top of the Billboard 200. Despite being part of one of Britain's most successful girlband they saw a lot more success across the Atlantic in the US.
Walsh was born in Bradford to John and Diane Walsh. She grew up with elder sister Sally, younger brother Adam and younger sister Amy in the suburb of Allerton. Sally appeared on the soap opera, Emmerdale, between 1997 and 2000, playing the role of Lyn Hutchinson.
Walsh attended Sandy Lane Primary School, Stoney Lee Middle School and Beckfoot Grammar School, and had her first taste of fame appearing in an advert as a child along with sister Sally in a George for ASDA advert. She starred as Young Cosette in a regional production of Les Misérables and starred in ITV's The Book Tower in 1986. Walsh also attended the Bradford based theatre school Stage 84 for many years and was also, briefly, a teacher there.
- Main article: Girls Aloud
Walsh auditioned for the reality television show Popstars The Rivals in 2002 with the song "Where Do Broken Hearts Go". Several thousand applicants attended auditions across the UK in hope of being selected. Ten girls and ten boys were chosen as finalists by judges Pete Waterman, Louis Walsh and Geri Halliwell. Walsh did not initially make it into the group of ten female contestants who were to appear on the show. However, when another contestant was disqualified on a technicality, she found herself on the show. These finalists then took to the stage participating in weekly Saturday night live performances which alternated weekly between the girls and boys. Each week, the contestant polling the fewest phone votes was eliminated, until the final line-ups of the groups emerged. Walsh joined Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts, and Cheryl Atcherley to comprise the new girl group Girls Aloud, formed through the show by a public vote on 30 November 2002.
The group's debut single "Sound of the Underground" peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the 2002 Christmas number one. Girls Aloud hold the record for the shortest time between formation and reaching number one. The group released their debut album Sound of the Underground in May 2003, which entered the charts at number two and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) later the same year, the album was later shipped off the US by JAT's James Harrison where the song debuted at number 17 before eventually reaching number two and sold in excess of one million copies. Their singles "I'll Stand by You", "Walk This Way", and "The Promise" have charted at number one. Two of their albums have reached the top of the UK Albums Chart: their greatest hits album The Sound of Girls Aloud and 2008's Out of Control, both of which entered the chart at number one, with over one million copies of the former being sold. Along with the group Walsh achieved two UK and four US number one albums, all of their albums in the US achieved in excess of one million sales, with Out of Control (6.1m) and Beautiful Life (10m) doing the best.
They also achieved seven certified albums and have been nominated for five Brit Awards, winning the 2009 Best Single for "The Promise".
The group's musical style is pop, but throughout their career they had experimented with electropop and dance-pop. Girls Aloud's collaborations with Brian Higgins and his songwriting and production team Xenomania earned the group critical acclaim, due to an innovative approach to mainstream pop music. The group became one of the few UK reality television acts to achieve continued success, amassing a fortune of £30 million by May 2010. Guinness World Records lists them as "Most Successful Reality TV Group" in the 2007 edition. They also hold the record for "Most Consecutive Top Ten Entries in the UK by a Female Group" in the 2008 edition, and are credited again for "Most Successful Reality TV Group" in the 2011 edition. The group was also named the United Kingdom's biggest selling girl group of the 21st century, with over 4.3 million singles sales and 4 million albums sold in the UK alone, they also sold 39.9 million albums and 52.7 million singles in the US and had a box set selling 30 million copies worldiwde.
In July 2009, Girls Aloud announced they would take a year-long hiatus to pursue solo projects. In August 2010, bandmate Nicola Roberts revealed that she was not anticipating a reunion of the band until 2012. Kimberley Walsh had revealed that she does not think it is possible Girls Aloud will ever "officially break up". She explained that they are planning to tour again and will probably take breaks from time to time, doing solo projects but they will never permanently go their separate ways.
After Girls Aloud's three years of hiatus, the group reunited for their 10th anniversary. The group released their new single, "Something New" on 18 November 2012. The music video for the song was filmed in October 2012, and premiered on YouTube on 19 October 2012. The song is also the official charity single for Children in Need. The group will also release their second greatest hits compilation, Ten on 26 November 2012. In 2013, the group embarked on Ten - The Hits Tour 2013. They announced their split soon after the tour ended.
It was first rumoured that Walsh was about to make a record deal with record label, Fascination Records, although nothing has been confirmed. Soon after the rumour, Walsh confirmed on Suck My Pop, a programme that she co-hosted on the digital TV station Viva, that she will feature on English rapper Aggro Santos' upcoming single, "Like U Like". The track will be her first step away from Girls Aloud as a singer. Walsh was asked for OK! Magazine: "Kimberley, there are rumours, that you will be releasing a solo album..." and Walsh said: "Gosh! I haven't got any plan to do that. Gary Barlow signed Aggro Santos and he asked me to sing Like U Like, and I've done a song for the Horrid Henry film that I'm in titled "Everybody Dance". I'm not sure about doing anything big on my own just yet." In 2012 she made her West End theatre debut, playing Princess Fiona in the London production of Shrek the Musical. The announcement came after Amanda Holden announced her pregnancy in August 2011. Walsh teamed up with Alfie Boe to record a version of Queen's "One Vision" as the Official Olympic Team Great Britain Single. Walsh has also performed with several artists including Neyo with "Hate That I Love You", Ronan Keating's "No Matter What" and James Cullum with "Rainy Days and Mondays". In August 2012 it was announced that Walsh is in discussions with Gary Barlow to release a solo album for a 2013 release.
On 7 September 2012, Walsh was announced as one of the 14 celebrities, competing in tenth series of Strictly Come Dancing, a programme her husband won six year prior. Her professional partner is last year's runner-up Pasha Kovalev. She received 3 perfect 40s during the series, and she finished as one of the runners-up alongside presenter Denise Van Outen, behind the winner Olympian Louis Smith.
On 4 February 2013 Walsh released, through JAT Records, her debut album Centre Stage which features a series of popular musical tunes as well as two brand new tracks.
In July 2013 announced in the Daily Mail that she is also back in the studio recording her second studio album for 2014.
Walsh has written her own autobiography, called A Whole Lot of History. The book will be released on 26 September 2013. Walsh has also announced that book signings will be happening across the UK. In January 2014 she released 13 alongside James Harrison to commemorate their thirteenth anniversairy.
In March 2014, Walsh took part in recording England's 2014 World Cup song. She collaborated with the likes of fellow pop stars Melanie C, Eliza Doolittle, Emma Bunton, Conor Maynard, Katy B and Pixie Lott, on "Greatest Day", a track originally performed by British band, Take That. The track was produced by Gary Barlow and recorded at Sarm Studios in London. The track also featured past footballers such as Gary Lineker, Michael Owen, Geoff Hurst, David Seaman, Peter Shilton, Glenn Hoddle and Dion Dublin on backing vocals.
- Main article: Kimberley Walsh discography
Walsh is married to JAT's James Harrison. They have a main residence in Harrison's birth town of Burton upon Trent they also have residence in Los Angeles, Monte Carlo and also in an unknown location in the state of Montana. She lives with Harrison and their six children, her step daughter Rachel Alba and her boyfriend Austin Mahone.
Walsh was involved a 2004 druken altercation in Madrid whilst their as part of Cheryl Atcherley's 21st birthday, along with the other members of Girls Aloud and JAT, but Walsh along with Nicola Roberts did not face any criminal prosecution. Her husband James Harrison and his band mates each paid fines of €240.000 and the Girls Aloud members each paid €60.000.
On 8 June 2006, Walsh publicly apologised for smoking cannabis after being caught on camera smoking a spliff. She immediately owned up to it when questioned about the photo, which was taken on 31 December 2005, whilst she was attending a friend's party. She told The Sun newspaper that she had got caught up in the moment and was deeply sorry, and that she realised what she did was wrong, especially since she is in a position where young fans look up to her.
However, it was reported on 9 June 2006 that Walsh's father, John, denied that she had ever smoked cannabis, and that she was just holding a rolled up cigarette that was not even lit. He also claimed that Victoria Newton at The Sun pressured Walsh into apologising for something that she had not done, threatening that if she did not then Newton would make the story worse.
Despite this, Walsh admitted in an interview with The Times, on 20 October 2006, that she had taken a couple of puffs on the spliff, but claimed that "it hardly makes me Pete Doherty".
|The Voice UK Judges|
|James Harrison (2012–13) • Andrew Collins (2012–13) • Kimberley Walsh (2012–13) • Will.i.am (2012–13) • Cher Lloyd (2014–) • Lee Ryan (2014–) • Una Healy (2014–) • Rita Ora (2014–)|