Are you ready for a wiggly, wiggly bombshell? The Beatles of children’s music are about to undergo a drastic face-lift.
It was only a few months that the Yellow Wiggle, that’s Greg Page boys and girls, announced his return to the Wiggle fold. But now he’s off again… and he’s taking two members with him; and no, it’s not Dorothy the Dinosaur or Wags the Dog.
In a move that has rocked the foundations of one of Australia’s most successful groups, TheMusic revealed the shock announcement that three members of the children’s music group, Greg Page, Jeff Fatt and Murray Cook, will be retiring after their forthcoming national tour.
After 21 years of bringing smiles to childrens’ faces with hits like Hot Potato and Wake Up, Jeff! and their numerous television programs, Fatt, Page and Cook are calling it a day.
However, fourth member, Anthony Field, will continue the group with three new faces. Or as Murray Cook called them, in a direct video message to their young fans released this afternoon, “a new generation of Wiggles, who will continue to sing, dance and make music for you, just like we have.”
In the same video Field reports, with a trademark smile, “The Wiggles are here to stay. I’m going to be keeping my blue skivvy and we’ll be singing and dancing just like before.” Field also suggests that “Greg, Murray and Jeff will still be here at Wiggles headquarters helping create new songs, new dances, new experiences for you to enjoy.”
The band also report that the iconic red, yellow and purple skivvies have already found new members to fill them, including what will be the group’s first female member in Emma Watkins; one of the group’s back-up dancers. TheMusic reports that Lachlan Gillespie and Simon Pryce will be filling out the new line-up.
Before the revised quartet are introduced however, the current line-up will be embarking on last national tour, allowing their millions of fans to wave them goodbye. Dates for these Australian shows are planned for Novemeber and December, with full details to be announced in August.
The video also summarises the Wiggles’ hugely successful career-to-date, including over 4000 shows during their tenure, as well as an estimated average of one million people ‘entertained’ each year. At the peak of their popularity they were, according to Business Review Weekly, the highest-earning Austrlian entertainers four years running at an estimated $45,000,000 dollars.
They’ve accumulated a staggering 30 million combined sales in CDs and DVDs since their formation in 1991. As well as scoring 17 gold, 12 platinum, three double-platinum and ten multi-platinum awards; and a coveted induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
The success of the Wiggles industry has certainly kept them busy, which according to the three departing members, “has meant we’ve had to spend a lot of time away from our own families and friends,” says Cook in their video statement. “We miss them and Jeff, Greg and I have decided it’s time to spend some more time at home.”
This enormous alteration to one of Australia’s longest-serving and most iconic of groups marks a huge turning point in their career, now kids can say ‘I like their classic line-up better’ just like their jaded parents.
You can view the Wiggles, and what will be one of the final recordings of their iconic pointy waggles, in their video goodbye below:
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