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Kate Pierson

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Kate Pierson
Pierson smiling
Pierson performing with the B-52s in 2009
Background information
Birth nameCatherine Elizabeth Pierson
Born (1948-04-27) April 27, 1948 (age 76)
Weehawken, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresRock, new wave
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • guitar
  • bass
  • percussion
Years active1979–present
Member ofThe B-52's
Formerly ofNiNa

Catherine Elizabeth Pierson (born April 27, 1948)[1] is an American singer, lyricist, and founding member of the B-52s. She plays guitar, bass and various keyboard instruments. In the early years, as well as being a vocalist, Pierson was the main keyboard player and performed on a keyboard bass during live shows and on many of the band's recordings, taking on a role usually filled by a bass guitar player, which differentiated the band from their contemporaries. This, along with Pierson's distinctive wide-ranging singing voice, remains a trademark of the B-52s' unique sound. Pierson has also collaborated with many other artists including the Ramones, Iggy Pop and R.E.M. Pierson possesses a mezzo-soprano vocal range.

In February 2015, Pierson released her first solo album, Guitars and Microphones, featuring material co-written by Sia.[2] She later released the non-album single "Better Not Sting the Bee", and then she released an April 16, 2016 cover of "Venus" as a single. Side B included "Radio In Bed" written by Kate and her wife Monica Coleman. Both tracks were produced by Jack White.

Early life and education


Pierson was born in Weehawken, New Jersey, and raised in Rutherford.[3][4][5]

Pierson briefly attended Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois before transferring to Boston University, where she earned a journalism degree.[6] She then traveled around Europe for a time in the 1970s, including six months working as a barmaid in The Anson pub in Wallsend, UK,[7] before returning to the U.S. and moving to Athens, Georgia, where she lived on a farm and earned a living as a paste-up artist in the type shop of the local newspaper.[8]

Music career


Pierson met up with the other members of what would become the B-52s while living in Athens, Georgia.[9] The band formed in October 1976 and played a few parties before heading to New York to play some shows.[10] Eventually, Pierson and the other band members began commuting between Athens and New York, playing gigs.[11]

Personal life


Pierson was married to Brian Cokayne, a Mancunian, whom she met while living in Europe between 1971 and 1973.[12]

From 1981 to 1996, Pierson was in a relationship with artist Tim Rollins.[13]

In 2003, Pierson started a relationship with artist and designer Monica Coleman. They got married on August 3, 2015.[14]

Pierson and Coleman are the owners of Kate's Lazy Desert in Landers, California, Kate's Lazy Cabin in Woodstock, New York, New York's Catskill Mountains and Kate's Lazy Cape located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.[15] They operate the businesses together.[16][17]

In a 2015 interview, Pierson stated that she identifies as bisexual.[18]


  • The Ramones, in the early 1980s on the song "Chop Suey", with Cindy Wilson and Debbie Harry; the title is available as a bonus track on the Ramones' re-release CD Pleasant Dreams.
  • Pierson, Wilson and Strickland were part of the group Melon, and recorded two songs ("I Will Call You" and "Honeydew") for a Japanese TV show titled Snakeman Show. The soundtrack LP (in 1980) and CD (in 1988) were only released in Japan.
  • Fred Schneider, on his Fred Schneider & the Shake Society solo album from 1984, on songs "Monster", "Summer in Hell", "I'm Gonna Haunt You" and "Boonga (The New Jersey Caveman)".
  • Iggy Pop, on the 1990 Top-30 song "Candy".[19]
  • R.E.M., on the songs "Shiny Happy People" and "Me in Honey" from the 1991 album Out of Time, and "Fretless" from the 1991 soundtrack Until the End of the World.
  • Matthew Sweet, on the 1989 album Earth.
  • With Cindy Wilson on their cover of the McFadden & Whitehead's song "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now", recorded for the soundtrack The Associate in 1996.
  • The soundtrack for The Rugrats Movie, released in 1998 contains the track "The World Is Something New to Me" and features Pierson, Schneider and Wilson along with other artists.
  • "We Are Family", a single released to raise money for the victims of the September 11 attacks, features Pierson and Schneider in the chorus and on the DVD documentation.
  • Pierson sang with Jay Ungar and Molly Mason on their 2003 album Relax Your Mind, on the track "Bad Attitude".
  • Junior Senior, on the song "Take My Time" from the 2005 album Hey Hey My My Yo Yo (with Cindy Wilson).
  • Peter Jöback, duet on the song "Sing" from the 2009 album East Side Stories.
  • David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, on the song "The Whole Man" from the 2010 album Here Lies Love.
  • She was also a member of the Japanese group NiNa with Yuki Isoya and co-wrote and performed a complete album, with the hit singles "Happy Tomorrow" and "Aurora Tour". The album and singles were only released in Japan. Two songs were used as the ending theme song to the anime Arc the Lad.
  • She appeared in Blondie's music video for "Mother".[20]
  • The soundtrack album Phineas and Ferb: Rockin' and Rollin' released in September 2013 features Pierson singing: "Let's Spend Half A Day".
  • One song on Downes Braide Association's 2017 album Skyscraper Souls.



Film and television



  1. ^ "Kate Pierson". Biography. Archived from the original on July 7, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  2. ^ Interview, blogs.browardpalmbeach.com; accessed March 24, 2015.
  3. ^ Beckerman, Jim. "B-52s 'Party' lands close to hometown", The Record (Bergen County), August 15, 2009; accessed January 14, 2012. "And with that hair? Kate Pierson, born in Weehawken, raised in Rutherford."
  4. ^ Bream, Jon. "Cameo Critic: Kate Pierson" Minneapolis Star Tribune June 15, 2008.
  5. ^ Strong, Martin Charles. The essential rock discography (Canongate U.S.); ISBN 978-1-84195-860-6.
  6. ^ "Interview: The B-52's". Rolling Stone. December 11, 1980.
  7. ^ Chronicle, Evening (February 16, 2012). "B-52s star was barmaid at a Wallsend pub in '70s". ChronicleLive. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  8. ^ "Interview: The B-52's". Rolling Stone. December 11, 1980.
  9. ^ "Interview: The B-52's". Rolling Stone. December 11, 1980.
  10. ^ "Interview: The B-52's". Rolling Stone. December 11, 1980.
  11. ^ "Interview: The B-52's". Rolling Stone. December 11, 1980.
  12. ^ "The B-52s' Kate Pierson on the Music That Made Her". Pitchfork. February 25, 2020. Retrieved February 2, 2024.
  13. ^ Basciano, Oliver (January 12, 2018). "Tim Rollins obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  14. ^ Ring, Trudy. "B52s' Kate Pierson Marries Partner Monica Coleman". SheWired. Archived from the original on August 8, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  15. ^ Robinson, Matt (October 13, 2006). "The Making of a Rockpreneur". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  16. ^ Profile Archived October 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, OutTraveler.com; accessed March 24, 2015.
  17. ^ Strauss, Alix (August 14, 2020). "How Kate Pierson, of the B-52's, and Monica Coleman, Spend Their Sundays". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  18. ^ May, Adam (April 30, 2015). "Kate Pierson Talks To Adam May". Al Jazeera America. Archived from the original on October 1, 2021. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  19. ^ "Top 100 Songs - Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Zombies, Andy, And Lou! New Blondie Video for "Mother"…". cherrybombed.com. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  21. ^ "Soundtrack - E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", IMDb, retrieved October 18, 2011.
  22. ^ "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)". The Simpsons. Season 11. Episode 5. November 7, 1999. Fox. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  23. ^ "36 Candles - Difficult People", IMDb, retrieved May 6, 2022.