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Belinda Carlisle

Belinda Carlisle

Singer-songwriter Belinda Carlisle possesses one of the most recognisable voices of the ’80s. Since making her mark as the frontwoman of The Go-Go’s, the first all-female rock band to top the Billboard charts, she’s gone on to have a long and successful solo career.

The oldest of seven children, Belinda Jo Carlisle was born in 1958 in Los Angeles. Her entry into the music industry began in the mid ’70s as the drummer of The Germs, however she dropped out before their first live show because she’d contracted mononucleosis. After recovering, Carlisle did some backup singing for the Hollywood punk rock band Black Randy And The Metrosquad.

In 1978 she co-founded a new band called The Misfits (not to be confused with Glenn Danzig's similarly named punk band) with friends Jane Wiedlin and Margot Olavarria. With the addition of Charlotte Caffey and Elissa Bello the following year, they changed their name to The Go-Go’s. By the start of 1980 Olavarria and Bello had departed, while Gina Schock and Kathy Valentine came onboard and a demo was recorded with Carlisle as the lead vocalist. The Go-Go’s debut album Beauty And The Beat arrived in 1981 – its first single Our Lips Are Sealed hit No.20 on the Billboard Hot 100 list and its second single We Got The Beat rose all the way to the No.2 spot.

The Go-Go’s sophomore album Vacation followed in 1982 and although it topped the charts, sales were disappointing. The band relocated to the UK to record their third album Talk Show, which was well received by critics but not as commercially successful as their debut.

Although The Go-Go’s sold more than seven million albums in three years and had become America’s sweethearts, creative differences and addiction problems eventually took a toll. By 1985, the band disbanded and Belinda Carlisle embarked on a solo career. Within a year, she’d released her debut album, simply titled Belinda, containing the hits Mad About You, I Feel The Magic and Since You’ve Gone.

Following a string of songs featured in film soundtracks – Shot In The Dark in 1986’s Out Of Bounds, In My Wildest Dreams in 1987’s Mannequin and Dancing In The City in 1987’s Burglar – Carlisle released her second album Heaven On Earth, which became a massive success thanks to the lead single Heaven Is A Place On Earth. Reaching the top five in both the US and UK, it was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Other hits from that album included Circle In The Sand, I Get Weak and I Feel Free.

Carlisle’s third studio album Runaway Horses came out in 1989 and spawned two further hits in Leave A Light On and Summer Rain. It was followed by Live Your Life Be Free in 1991 and Real in 1993. In 1994, she briefly reunited with The Go-Go's before returning to her solo career with her sixth album A Woman And A Man in 1996.

The Go-Go's reunited once more in 2001, resulting in their fourth album God Bless The Go-Go’s. Carlisle released her seventh solo album Voila in 2007, a collection of French pop songs, sung entirely in French. Carlisle then appeared on Dancing With The Stars in 2009 and in a West End production of Hairspray. In 2010, she published her autobiography Lips Unsealed, which became a New York Times bestseller. In addition to chronicling her solo career and time with The Go-Go’s, the book also covered her struggles with addiction.

More tours with The Go-Go's followed and the band received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011. Carlisle returned to solo material once more in 2017 with Wilder Shores, a passion project inspired by Kundalini yoga.

In May 2020, Carlisle announced a solo UK tour for October 2021. In July 2020, she once again teamed up with her bandmates in The Go-Go's to release their first new single in almost 20 years.

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