Peak UK Chart Position: #3 in May 1997.

Also celebrating her birthday is Katrina Elizabeth Leskanich, former lead singer of Katrina and the Waves, born in Topeka, Kansas, United States, 57 years ago today. Including early incarnations, the group’s lifespan covered twenty-four years – resulting in two particularly standout moments. The first was the 1985 hit “Walking On Sunshine”, still the anthem of many a summer party and compilation album to this day, It went top ten in the UK (#8), Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United States, It was their first top forty hit in both the UK and the US, and only British success (apart from “Sun Street” getting to number 22 in 1986) until…

1997, another year where Ireland played host to the Eurovision Song Contest (after Eimear Quinn’s track “The Voice” reigned supreme in 1996), although this year they were to end up runners-up. By some distance, too – a whole 70 points – as Katrina and the Waves’ “Love Shine A Light” amassed 227 points, a record at the time. It was the first victory for the UK in 16 years, coming just two days after the Labour party’s first victory at a general election in 23 years. Oddly, its inconsistent chart run didn’t match its Eurovision success, with 50-13-3-8-17-31-40 in no way matching the previous year’s representative Gina G. It actually fared better in both Austria and Norway where it got to number two.

After the group split in 1999, Leskanich went on to launch a solo career, as well as becoming a DJ on BBC Radio 2. She has also found time for a spot of acting, writing, countless television appearances, festival appearances, and a close involvement at times with Eurovision. Let’s go back to Dublin in 1997, and enjoy the track performed 24th out of a field of 25 on the night of May 3rd. How Eurovision staging has changed…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *