Mel and Kim
(1) British Dance-pop duo who worked with Stock Aitken Waterman and had hits in the 1980's with the singles "Respectable", "Showing Out", "F.L.M." and "That's The Way It Is".
Mel & Kim were born to British and Jamaican parents. In 1985, Mel recorded two demos solo, under Alan Whitehead's management. Soon after, her sister Kim joined her and they performed as a duo, recording some demos. The demos got them signed with Supreme Records, and Nick East - president of Supreme - put them in touch with eminent producers Stock Aitken Waterman.
"System" was intended as their first single, but they and the producers were unhappy with it, and it became the "B-side" of their first release "Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend)", which reached number three on the UK Singles Chart in 1986, number 78 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs. Their next single "Respectable" reached number one in Britain and became one of the year's biggest hits. This song also reached number 1 on the U.S.They became well-known celebrities, particularly in Britain, and were known for their visual style which combined urban street wear with high fashion (prior to their music career Mel had worked as a glamour model). Their third single "F.L.M." reached number seven in the UK, while their final single "That's the Way It Is" reached number ten, giving them an unbroken run of top ten hits.
In December 1985, prior to the duo's rise to fame, Mel was treated for malignant paraganglioma, a form of cancer, on her liver. By January 1987, Mel was experiencing back problems, delaying the filming of the Respectable music video. During a promotional visit to Japan in June 1987, the severity of Mel's back problem became apparent. Upon returning to the UK, she was diagnosed with a recurrence of the cancer in her spine. The sisters withdrew from publicity while Mel underwent treatment, and footage from their Montreux Festival performance was used to compile the "F.L.M." music video. While the media speculated that Mel was terminally ill, both sisters categorically denied this, stating that Mel had suffered a debilitating back injury.
Eventually, it was confirmed that Mel had been diagnosed with cancer, following the release of "That's the Way it Is" in February 1988. Mel discharged herself from hospital to record the vocals for the track. Work on a second album was not continued, due to Mel's illness. Both sisters appeared on the Wogan show in April 1988 while Mel was still undergoing treatment, as part of European Cancer Week. She died of pneumonia on 18 January 1990, after contracting a cold; her immune system weakened by chemotherapy.
With the aid of her then boyfriend, ex-Bros bassist Craig Logan, Kim launched a solo career with much of her debut solo album composed of songs co-written with Mel, for what was intended to be the next "Mel and Kim" album. The album, Kim Appleby, contained her debut solo single "Don't Worry", which reached number two on the British charts in November 1990. A follow-up single "G.L.A.D" was also a 10 hit on the UK Singles Chart. Subsequent singles from her debut album were "Mama" and "If You Cared" . Kim's second album Breakaway was not a commercial success and had a limited release. She released three further singles, "Light of the World" , "Breakaway" , and "Free Spirit" . A download-only single called "High" was released in 2007.
(2) Mel Smith and Kim Wilde.
In 1987, Comedian Mel Smith (Half of comedy duo Smith and Jones) recorded a single with Kim Wilde for Comic Relief: a cover of the Christmas song "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" with some extra comedy lines written by Smith and Jones. It reached number 3 in the UK Single Chart..