“Kids in America” is a song recorded by English pop singer Kim Wilde. It was released in the United Kingdom as her debut single in January 1981, and in the United States in spring 1982, later appearing on her self-titled debut studio album. Largely inspired by the synth-pop style of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) and Gary Numan, the song reached number two on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks and number one in Finland and South Africa, and charted in the top 10 of many European charts as well as Australia and New Zealand. In North America, the song reached the top 40 in Canada and the United States. It was certified gold in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and Sweden; and has sold over three million copies worldwide. The song has been covered by many artists from different genres.
“Kids in America” signalled the start of Wilde’s career. It sold so well in its first week, foul play was suspected and it was not included in that week’s chart. In its first eight weeks of release, the single sold more than half a million copies in the UK alone. The song peaked at number two in the UK in 1981 and became the 23rd best-selling single that year. The following year in 1982, it reached No. 25 on the US Billboard Hot 100 for over a month and ranked as the 91st most successful song of 1982 on the Hot 100 year-end chart. Though it only hit No. 25, it received heavy airplay on radio stations and MTV. Elsewhere, the record peaked atop the charts of Finland and South Africa. In Europe and Australia, the song was also a major top 10 hit. After “Kids in America”, Wilde’s father and brother continued to write songs for her (with the latter also given production credits). In later years, she chiefly co-wrote with her brother.