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Walking on Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves song)

"Walking on Sunshine" is a song written by Kimberley Rew for Katrina and the Waves' 1983 eponymous debut full-length album. The re-recorded version was at first released on the band's 1985 self-titled album as the album's second single and reached No. 4 in Australia, No. 9 in the United States, and No. 8 in the United Kingdom. It was the Waves' first US top 40 hit, and their biggest success in the United Kingdom until "Love Shine a Light" (1997). Originally conceived of as a ballad, Katrina Leskanich decided to belt the song out as a more upbeat song.[2]

"Walking on Sunshine"
Single by Katrina and the Waves
from the album Walking on Sunshine
later version appeared on Katrina and the Waves)
  • 26 April 1985
  • 7 June 1996 (re-issue)
FormatRecord single
Recorded1983, 1985
StudioCambridge, England
GenrePop rock[1]
  • 3:16 (original version)
  • 4:00 (re-recorded version)
Songwriter(s)Kimberley Rew
Producer(s)Katrina and the Waves, Pat Collier; Scott Litt (additional production)
Katrina and the Waves singles chronology
"Plastic Man"
"Walking on Sunshine"
"Do You Want Crying"
Audio sample
Music video
"Walking on Sunshine” on YouTube


Royalties from airplay and advertisements of "Walking on Sunshine" have been extremely high. Katrina and the Waves kept the publishing rights and the royalties that typically go to the songwriter have been divided among the band members.[clarification needed] Estimates are the song has earned $1 million per year for the ten years ending in 2010.[citation needed] According to a former employee of EMI, "Walking on Sunshine was the crown jewel in EMI's catalog," and that it was one of EMI's biggest earners from advertisers.[3]

In late August and early September 2005, which marked the 20th anniversary of the song's release, the storm surge of a storm named Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the U.S. Gulf Coast, and the MSNBC program Countdown with Keith Olbermann dubbed its coverage of the storm, "Katrina and the Waves"; the name also appeared in numerous headlines and blog postings. A New York Times reporter contacted Katrina Leskanich, who said: "The first time I opened the paper and saw 'Katrina kills 9,' it was a bit of a shock. ... 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."[4] She also stated that she hoped that "Walking on Sunshine" would become an anthem for the Gulf Coast's recovery.[5]

2010 was the 25th anniversary of the release of "Walking on Sunshine," and a series of back-catalog re-releases and a re-recorded version of the track were released at the time.[6] A free download of one of the tracks from Kimberley Rew's solo album Bible of Bop was given away in March 2010 from the band's website.[7]

In August 2015, which marked the 30th anniversary of the song's release, the song was acquired by BMG Rights Management for £10 million, along with all the other songs written by Kimberley Rew and Katrina and the Waves.[8]

Music videoEdit

The music video opens with a Docklands alley, the Waves huddling whilst Katrina dances about above them. The video proceeds to depict the band performing live at a United Kingdom concert. Katrina herself is either with or not with them, but either dancing in a disused Docklands warehouse, or walking through Hyde Park on a cloudy day, past a churchyard, Tower Bridge, and the south bank of the Thames. She catches up with the others and feeds ducks (one of them eats the leftovers, referring to the Waves). The four all repair to a backstage dressing room and prepare for a concert.

Chart performanceEdit


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[26] Gold 10,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[27] Gold 45,000^
Italy (FIMI)[28] Gold 25,000 
United Kingdom (BPI)[29] Gold 500,000 

^shipments figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Dolly Parton versionEdit

"Walking on Sunshine"
Single by Dolly Parton
from the album Treasures
FormatMaxi single
  • Rising Tide
  • Blue Eye
Songwriter(s)Kimberley Rew
Dolly Parton singles chronology
"Just When I Needed You Most"
"Walking on Sunshine"
"Peace Train"

In 1996, Dolly Parton included a bluegrass version of "Walking on Sunshine" on her album of covers, Treasures, stating in interviews to promote the album, as well as her CBS TV special to promote the album, that she had long loved the song. In 1997, a dance remix of Parton's version was released.

Aly & AJ coverEdit

"Walking on Sunshine"
Single by Aly & AJ
from the album Into the Rush and Herbie: Fully Loaded soundtrack
FormatRadio Disney single
LabelHollywood Records
Songwriter(s)Kimberley Rew
Producer(s)Matthew Gerrard

Matthew Gerrard produced a cover of "Walking on Sunshine" for American pop rock duo Aly & AJ's debut album, Into the Rush. The song was released as the album's fourth single on June 22, 2005 (see 2005 in music). It was also used to promote the film Herbie: Fully Loaded and makes an appearance on the movie soundtrack. The single's video features Aly & AJ performing and is intercut with clips from the film Herbie: Fully Loaded. The song was shortened down to one minute and 55 seconds (1:55), as it is used for the video. This song was also featured in the 2010 film Ramona and Beezus and the 2011 film Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure.

Track listingsEdit

Radio Disney Promo CD[30]
1."Walking on Sunshine"Kimberly Rew3:54

Release historyEdit

Date Country Format Label
22 June 2005 United States Promo CD Hollywood Records
Date Country Format Label
6 February 2006 United Kingdom Promo CD Squirrel Records

Appearances in popular cultureEdit

The song is very popular in commercials, and advertisers typically pay $150,000 to $200,000 per year to use the song.[3]


  1. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Katrina & the Waves – Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 January 2017. It peaked at number 28 in England and number 25 in America (the highest chart placement up to that time by any ex-member of the Soft Boys), and yielded the Top Ten U.S./U.K. hit "Walking on Sunshine," one of the more memorable pop/rock songs of the decade.
  2. ^ "Katrina Leskanich radio appearance". Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  3. ^ a b Blair, Elizabeth (24 May 2010). "'Walking On Sunshine': Living On A Song". NPR Music. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  4. ^ McElroy, Steven (1 September 2005). "Arts, Briefly". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  5. ^ Salkin, Allen (11 September 2005). "What's in a Name, Katrinas?". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Kimberley Rew Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Walking On Sunshine With Four Retro Releases". antiMusic. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Katrina & The Waves". Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  8. ^ "'Walking on Sunshine' bought by BMG for £10m". The Irish Times. 6 August 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. 97 (26): 62. 29 June 1985. ISSN 0006-2510.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9317." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0539." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  12. ^ " – Katrina And The Waves – Walking On Sunshine". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Walking on Sunshine". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  14. ^ " – Katrina And The Waves – Walking On Sunshine". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  15. ^ " – Katrina And The Waves – Walking On Sunshine". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  16. ^ " – Katrina And The Waves – Walking On Sunshine". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  18. ^ a b c d "Katrina & the Waves – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  19. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending JUNE 15, 1985". Archived from the original on 18 September 2012.. Cash Box.
  20. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  21. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  23. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 43, No. 16, December 28 1985". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  24. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1985". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  25. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1985". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012.. Cash Box.
  26. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Katrina and the Waves – Walking on sunshine". Music Canada. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  27. ^ "Danish single certifications – Katrina & the Waves – Walking on Sunshine". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  28. ^ "Italian single certifications – Katrina & the Waves – Walking on Sunshine" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 3 September 2018. Select "2018" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Walking on Sunshine" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  29. ^ "British single certifications – Katrina and the Waves – Walking on sunshine". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 June 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Walking on sunshine in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  30. ^ "Walking on Sunshine ~ Release by Aly & AJ". MusicBrainz. Retrieved 12 July 2014.

External linksEdit