The Spanish Sinatra Hits America, and Chris Cross Turns Another Page

UPDATED 12/27/1982 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 12/27/1982 at 01:00 AM EST

In Mother England, nothing succeeds like excess. The latest British shock wave is a pop combo called Culture Club, led by an androgynous vocalist named Boy George. The band's debut album, Kissing to Be Clever, is likely to climb the charts, propelled by the reggae-flavored Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? In spite of that title, Culture Clubbers claim punk is passé "I never liked it," says Boy George, 21, "because I like quality. That's why I like people like Tom Jones."

It's never too late to become a Nashville newcomer. A Las Vegas club singer for 17 years, Lee Greenwood, 40, took a gamble in 1981 and headed for the country capital. This year he came up a winner with two Top 10 singles, Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands and She's Lying. He penned Kenny Rogers' latest, A Love Story, and Brenda Lee has recorded another of his tunes. To add to his "countrypolitan" appeal, Lee has the right marital credentials for country stardom: He's been to the altar four times.

International pop star Julio Iglesias, 39, is about to add English to his long list of "second languages" with the release of his first American LP. The Spanish Sinatra, as he is sometimes called, combines matinee idol looks with European-style love songs. He has sold 60 million records, but the States have been untapped until now. "It's a big challenge," says Julio, but hardly insurmountable for someone who sold 500,000 records in Japan in spite of what he calls "a very bad Japanese accent."

Christopher Cross has a tough act to follow—his own. Three years ago he sailed onto the rock scene with a smooth-sounding debut album that eventually sold four million copies and snagged four Grammys. Then he won an Oscar for co-authoring the theme for the comedy Arthur. And now the Texas-born tenor is back—slimmed down and spiffed up—with his second LP. Titled Another Page, it features 10 fresh tunes. Credits for the recording session read like a musical who's who; co-conspirators include Karla Bonoff, Art Garfunkel, the Doobies' Michael McDonald, Eagle Don Henley and Beach Boy Carl Wilson. The singer, 31, lives in Los Angeles, but after the album's release in January he will be spending the rest of '83 promoting the LP by—how else?—Chris Cross-ing the globe on a concert tour.

Watch out, Go-Go's, 'cause here comes Kim Wilde, the kittenish soprano with the vampish looks who's making a big splash on the New Wave scene. The daughter of vintage U.K. pop star Marty Wilde, Kim, 22, scored her first success in the Colonies with a teen anthem called Kids in America, co-written with brother Ricky, now 21. Much of her exposure so far has come through provocative video clips on MTV. Due out next spring, Kim's second LP is to be called Select. Looks like we're in for a Wilde year.

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