“Walking on Sunshine” is a song written by Kimberley Rew for Katrina and the Waves‘ 1983 eponymous debut full-length album. The re-recorded version was at first released on the band’s 1985 self-titled album as the album’s second single and reached No. 4 in Australia, No. 9 in the United States, and No. 8 in the United Kingdom. It was the Waves’ first US top 40 hit, and their biggest success in the United Kingdom until “Love Shine a Light” (1997).
Originally conceived of as a ballad, Katrina Leskanich decided to belt the song out as a more upbeat song. In a 2012 interview, however, Leskanich denied this, saying, “Nope, never. Never a ballad. In fact, the original [1983 version] is much faster.”
Royalties from airplay and advertisements of “Walking on Sunshine” have been extremely high. Katrina and the Waves kept the publishing rights and the royalties that typically go to the songwriter have been divided among the band members.
Estimates are the song has earned $1 million per year for the ten years ending in 2010.According to a former employee of EMI, “Walking on Sunshine was the crown jewel in EMI’s catalog,” and that it was one of EMI’s biggest earners from advertisers.