The Go-Go's

The Go-Go's are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1978.[1] Except for short periods when other musicians joined briefly, the band has had a relatively stable lineup consisting of Charlotte Caffey on lead guitar and keyboards, Belinda Carlisle on lead vocals, Gina Schock on drums, Kathy Valentine on bass guitar, and Jane Wiedlin on rhythm guitar. They are widely considered the most successful all-female rock band of all time.[2]

The Go-Go's at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston (2012)
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active
  • 1978–1985
  • 1990
  • 1994
  • 1999–present
Past members
  • Margot Olavarria
  • Elissa Bello
  • Paula Jean Brown
  • Abby Travis (touring only)

Originating in the Los Angeles punk rock scene in the late 1970s, the quintet's debut album, Beauty and the Beat topped the Billboard album chart – a (still-unequaled) first for an all-female band writing their own material and playing their own instruments.[3] That debut album is considered one of the "cornerstone albums of US new wave" (AllMusic), having broken barriers and paved the way for a host of other new American acts. It yielded two of the Go-Go's three biggest Hot 100 hits – "Our Lips Are Sealed" (no. 20) and "We Got the Beat" (no. 2) – and, after a long and steady climb, reached number one in the chart dated March 6, 1982. The album stayed at the top for six consecutive weeks, eventually selling more than two million copies.[4]

The group was nominated for the Best New Artist award at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards. Two more albums followed, Vacation (1982), which spawned the Top 40 hit song, also called "Vacation" (no. 8, 1982) and Talk Show (1984), that included the hits "Head over Heels" (no. 11) and "Turn to You" (no. 32).[5] The Go-Go's have sold more than seven million records worldwide.[6][7]

The Go-Go's broke up in 1985, with each member embarking on a solo career, with Carlisle being the most successful, having several top-5 singles through the late 1980s. They have reconvened several times starting in the 1990s, releasing a new album in 2001, God Bless the Go-Go's, and touring. They received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.[8] Though the band's 2016 performances were billed as a farewell tour, the band remains active on an ad hoc basis. Head Over Heels, a musical featuring the songs of the Go-Go's, ran on Broadway at the Hudson Theatre from 2018 to 2019.[9] The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021.

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