Walking on Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves song)

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"Walking on Sunshine"
Single by Katrina and the Waves
from the album Walking on Sunshine
B-side"Going to Liverpool"
Released15 April 1985 (1985-04-15)[1]
StudioCambridge, England
GenreNew wave,[2] pop rock[3]
Length3:16 (Original Version) 3:59 (Re-recorded Hit 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"
Music video
"Walking on Sunshine" on YouTube

"Walking on Sunshine" is a song written by Kimberley Rew for British rock band Katrina and the Waves' 1983 eponymous debut full-length album. The rerecorded version was at first released on the band's 1985 self-titled album as the album's second single and reached No. 3 in Canada, No. 4 in Australia, No. 9 in the United States and No. 8 in the United Kingdom. It was the Waves' first American top 40 hit, and their biggest success in the UK until "Love Shine a Light" (1997).


"Walking on Sunshine" was written by the band's guitarist Kimberley Rew. "I'd love to say Walking on Sunshine relates to a significant event in my life, like walking out of my front door, seeing a comet and being inspired," he told The Guardian in 2015. "But it's just a piece of simple fun, an optimistic song, despite us not being outstandingly cheery people. We were a typical young band, insecure and pessimistic. We didn't have big hair and didn't look anything like a Motown-influenced group. We didn't have any credibility or a fanbase in awe of our mystique. We were a second-on-the-bill-at-a-festival-in-Germany pop band. But we had this song."[4]

The rest of the band did not like the song at first. Lead singer Katrina Leskanich thought "it wasn't really us", while bassist Vince de la Cruz found it irritating.[4]


Katrina and the Waves kept the song's publishing rights, and the royalties that are typically to the songwriter have been divided among the band members. The royalties from airplay and advertisements have been very lucrative; according to a former employee of EMI, the song was "the crown jewel in EMI's catalog," and it ranked among EMI's highest earners from advertisements.[5]

When Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, 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."[6] She also expressed her hope that "Walking on Sunshine" would become an anthem for the Gulf Coast's recovery.[7]

In 2010, the 25th anniversary of the release of "Walking on Sunshine," the band's material was re-released and a re-recorded version of the track was produced.[8] A free download of a track from Kimberley Rew's solo album Bible of Bop was made available in March 2010 at the band's website.[9]

In August 2015, the song was acquired by BMG Rights Management for £10 million, along with all of the other songs written by Rew and Katrina and the Waves.[10]

In a 2020 interview, Leskanich said that she believes that the song is going to outlive her.[11]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[32] Gold 10,000*
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[33] Platinum 90,000
Italy (FIMI)[34] Gold 25,000
Portugal (AFP)[35] Gold 20,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[36] 2× Platinum 1,200,000
Worldwide 2,000,000[37]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Aly & AJ cover[edit]

"Walking on Sunshine"
Single by Aly & AJ
from the album Into the Rush and Herbie: Fully Loaded soundtrack
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 and the film itself. 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 listings[edit]

Radio Disney Promo CD[38]
1."Walking on Sunshine"Kimberly Rew3:54

Release history[edit]

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

In popular culture[edit]

The song is very popular in commercials, and advertisers typically pay $150,000 to $200,000 per year to use the song.[5] This song appeared in a mashup with Beyoncé's "Halo" in the popular television show Glee, featured in the Season 1 episode "Vitamin D." It was performed by the female members of the glee club New Directions, with featured solos by Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley). It was released as a single on October 7, 2009 through digital download on iTunes,[39] and debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 40[40] while reaching number 4 in Ireland,[41] number 9 in the UK[42] and number 10 in Australia.[43] The song is featured as a cover on the dance rhythm game Just Dance 2023 Edition. In Futurama, it's Philip J. Fry's favorite song, and in the Season 4 episode "The Sting", the Planet Express janitor Scruffy plays a bagpipe version at Fry's funeral.[44] It is used in a musical scene in the movie Look Who's Talking with John Travolta.


  1. ^ "New Singles". Music Week. 13 April 1985. p. 16.
  2. ^ Perone, James E. (2018). Listen to New Wave Rock! Exploring a Musical Genre. Greenwood. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-4408-5968-7.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b Simpson, Dave (1 September 2015). "Katrina and the Waves: how we made Walking on Sunshine". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  5. ^ a b Blair, Elizabeth (24 May 2010). "'Walking On Sunshine': Living on a Song". NPR Music. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  6. ^ McElroy, Steven (1 September 2005). "Arts, Briefly". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  7. ^ Salkin, Allen (11 September 2005). "What's in a Name, Katrinas?". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Kimberley Rew Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Walking on Sunshine with Four Retro Releases". antiMusic. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Katrina & The Waves". Katrinaandthewaves.net. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  10. ^ "'Walking on Sunshine' bought by BMG for £10m". The Irish Times. 6 August 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  11. ^ Pingitore, Silvia (26 August 2020). "Remember 'Walking on Sunshine'? Interview with 1980s music legend Katrina and the Waves". the-shortlisted.co.uk. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. Vol. 97, no. 26. 29 June 1985. p. 62. ISSN 0006-2510.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0539." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9317." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  15. ^ "European Hot 100 Singles". Eurotipsheet. Vol. 2, no. 23. 10 June 1985. p. 12.
  16. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2021). "Katrina & The Waves". Sisältää hitin - 2. laitos Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla 1.1.1960–30.6.2021 (PDF) (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 126. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Walking on Sunshine". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
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  19. ^ "Katrina And The Waves – Walking On Sunshine". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
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  24. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Katrina And The Waves – Walking On Sunshine" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  25. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  26. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  27. ^ "Kent Music Report No 599 – 30 December 1985 > National Top 100 Singles for 1985". Kent Music Report. Retrieved January 23, 2023 – via Imgur.
  28. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  29. ^ "RPM's Top 100 Singles of 1985". RPM. Vol. 43, no. 16. Library and Archives Canada. 28 December 1985. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  30. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1985". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  31. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1985". Cash Box. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012.
  32. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Katrina and the Waves – Walking on sunshine". Music Canada. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  33. ^ "Danish single certifications – Katrina & the Waves – Walking on Sunshine". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  34. ^ "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" under "Sezione".
  35. ^ "Portuguese single certifications – Katrina & the Waves – Walking on Sunshine" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  36. ^ "British single certifications – Katrina & the Waves – Walking on Sunshine". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  37. ^ "Capitol/EMI - Exciting Prospects '86" (PDF). Music & Media. 23 December 1985. p. 4. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  38. ^ "Walking on Sunshine ~ Release by Aly & AJ". MusicBrainz. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  39. ^ ""Glee" rules the iTunes charts with astounding 1.1 million downloads" (Press release). Fox Broadcasting Company. 6 October 2009. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012.
  40. ^ Pietroluongo, Silvio (15 October 2009). "'Britney Spears, Justin Bieber Score Top Hot 100 Debuts". Retrieved 9 January 2022. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
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  42. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100: 14 February 2010 – 20 February 2010". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  43. ^ "Glee Cast – Halo / Walking on Sunshine". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  44. ^ "Episode 65: The Sting". IGN.