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Best known for a pair of '80s synth pop hits illuminated by his rich, sultry voice, Limahl first found fame in 1983 as leader of Kajagoogoo. That's when their seductive dance song "Too Shy" topped the singles chart in his native U.K. and elsewhere while reaching number five on the U.S. Hot 100. Soon parting ways with the group, Limahl charted internationally again a year later with his solo theme to the fantasy film The NeverEnding Story. While his last U.K. chart appearance was in 1986, Limahl recorded on occasion over the decades to follow, also playing sporadic festival dates on the nostalgia circuit. A reunited Kajagoogoo released the single "Death Defying Headlines" with Limahl in 2008, and, following his portrayal in a pair of 2019 episodes of American Horror Story: 1984, Limahl returned with the song "Still in Love" in 2020. Born Christopher Hamill in Wigan, England, in 1958, Limahl took his stage name from an anagram of his last name. Beginning his career as an actor, he won small parts in theater productions and television shows starting in the late '70s. He first attempted to break into the music business as a solo act under his given name, and briefly passed through several bands before successfully auditioning for Kajagoogoo in 1982. Produced by Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes and David Bowie affiliate Colin Thurston, Kajagoogoo's first single, "Too Shy," went all the way to number one in Britain, Ireland, and Germany in early 1983, and reached the Top Five in the States. Their April 1983 debut album, White Feathers, was a hit in many of the same regions, peaking at number five in the U.K. and number 28 in the U.S. The remainder of Kajagoogoo split with Limahl near the end of 1983 and continued to chart in Europe with bassist Nick Beggs on lead vocals. Meanwhile, Limahl was chosen to sing the Giorgio Moroder-penned theme song for the 1984 fantasy film The NeverEnding Story. It became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching the Top Five in the U.K. and a half-dozen countries on the mainland, and peaking at number 17 on the Hot 100. It was quickly added to Limahl's debut solo album, Don't Suppose, which arrived on EMI in late 1984. Sticking with a winning formula, Limahl worked more heavily with Moroder on his 1986 follow-up LP, Colour All My Days. It failed to chart, however, and only one song, "Love in Your Eyes," cracked the U.K. Top 100. It would be six years before he re-emerged with his third solo album, Love Is Blind, on German label Bellaphon in 1992. After his first stint as an '80s nostalgia act, Limahl joined the retro-themed musical revue What a Feeling! in the fall of 2000 and toured the U.K. performing renditions of '80s pop hits through the following year. In late 2003, he reunited with Kajagoogoo for a 2004 episode of VH1's Bands Reunited, following it with appearances on music-themed reality shows like Germany's Comeback and the U.K.'s Hit Me Baby One More Time. A few European festival dates with Kajagoogoo took place in 2008, as did the Kajagoogoo single "Death-Defying Headlines," their first recording with Limahl on lead vocals in 25 years. A remix EP appeared a year later. A solo Limahl eventually followed up with the track "1983" (Dig Music) and corresponding remix EP (Rödtopp Records) in 2012. Later in 2012, he also self-released the holiday song "London for Christmas." He remained active on the '80s touring circuit through 2018. "The NeverEnding Story" then enjoyed a resurgence after it was included in the third-season finale of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things in mid-2019. Recreating his high-contrast blond-and-black haircut from the time, actor Misha Crosby played Limahl on two episodes of American Horror Story's ninth season that November (dubbed American Horror Story: 1984). The singer returned with the original song "Still in Love" in June 2020.
© Marcy Donelson & Steve Huey /TiVo
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