Mel and Kim

Mel and Kim
Mel and Kim
Origin London, UK
Genres Dance pop, R&B
Years active 1986-1990
Labels Supreme
Past members
Melanie Appleby
Kim Appleby

Mel and Kim were a British pop duo, comprising sisters Melanie and Kim Appleby. They achieved success between 1986 and 1988 before Melanie succumbed to cancer.



Mel & Kim were born to British and Jamaican parents. In 1985, Mel recorded two demos solo, under Alan Whitehead's management. The producers loved her voice and they asked her if she would have someone to sing with. That's how Kim got involved. The girls recorded about five demos (according to Mr. Whitehead). One of these songs - "Wild and Crazy Love",a Mary Jane Girls cover - can be heard on the Mel and Kim documentary on YouTube. The demos got them signed with Supreme Records, and Nick East - president of Supreme - put them in touch with Stock Aitken Waterman.

"System" was intended as their first single, but they and the producers were unhappy with it, and it became the "B-side" of their first release "Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend)", which reached number three on the British charts in 1986 and number one on the USA Dance charts. Their next single "Respectable" reached number one in Britain and became one of the year's biggest hits. They became well-known celebrities, particularly in Britain, and were known for their visual style which combined urban street wear with high fashion; prior to their music career Mel had worked as a glamour model. Their third single "F.L.M." reached number seven in the UK, while their final single "That's the Way It Is" reached number ten, giving them an unbroken run of top ten hits.

During a promotional visit to Japan in June 1987, Mel became ill with a suspected spinal disc herniation, after complaining of a back problem for several months. Upon returning to the UK, Mel was diagnosed with secondary cancer of the spine, after previously being treated for liver cancer when she was 18, prior to the duo's rise to fame.[1] The cancer was malignant paraganglioma. The sisters withdrew from publicity while Mel underwent treatment, and footage from their Montreux Festival performance was used to compile the "F.L.M." music video. While the media speculated that Mel was terminally ill, both sisters categorically denied this, stating that Mel had suffered a debilitating back injury.

Eventually, it was confirmed that Mel had been diagnosed with cancer, following the release of "That's the Way it Is" in February 1988. Mel discharged herself from hospital to record the vocals for the track.[2] Work on a second album was not continued, due to Mel's illness. Both sisters appeared on the Wogan show in April 1988 while Mel was still undergoing treatment, as part of European Cancer Week.[3] She died of pneumonia on 18 January 1990, after contracting a cold; her immune system weakened by chemotherapy.

After Mel and Kim

With the aid of her then boyfriend, ex-Bros bassist Craig Logan, Kim launched a solo career with much of her debut solo album composed of songs co-written with Mel, for what was intended to be the next "Mel and Kim" album. The album, Kim Appleby, contained her debut solo single "Don't Worry", which reached number two on the British charts in November 1990. A follow-up single "G.L.A.D" was also a UK Top 10 hit. Subsequent singles from her debut album were "Mama" [#19] and "If You Cared" [#44]. Kim's second album Breakaway was not a commercial success and had a limited release. She released three further singles, "Light of the World" [#41, 1993], "Breakaway" [#56, 1993], and "Free Spirit" [#51, 1994]. A download-only single called "High" was released in 2007.



  • 1987 - F.L.M. (#3 UK, #2 Australia, #16 Germany) - 400.000 copise in UK (platinum), 3 million worldwide
  • 1989 - Something Special

Compilation Albums


Year Title Chart positions
1986 "Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend)"
1987 "Respectable"
1988 "That's the Way It Is"
"More Than Words Can Say" (Swedish Release Only)
1989 "I'm the One Who Really Loves You" (US Release Only)
1990 "Megamix Ninety!"


  • "Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend)" - (UK) Silver
  • "Respectable" - (UK) Gold
  • F.L.M. (album) - (UK) Platinum


  1. ^ Kim Appleby interview on the Trisha Goddard Show, 26 Aug 2005|url=
  2. ^ "Pete Waterman Entertainment Ltd - Q & A about PWE artists". Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  3. ^ Mel & Kim interview on the Wogan show, April 1988
  4. ^ "UK Singles Chart runs". Retrieved 2008-09-29.  Note: User must define search parameters, i.e. "Mel and Kim".
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, NSW, Australia: Australian Chart Book. pp. 197. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 

External links

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