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The Go-Go’s

The Go-Go's pose with varied facial expressions while sitting on a couch.
By Arnold Neimanis

California Connection:

Formed 1978

  • Launched in Los Angeles


Biography current as of in 2024

The Go-Go’s are an iconic rock band that emerged from the sun-soaked landscapes of Southern California, shaping the sound of an era and breaking down gender barriers in the music business.

Formed out of the Los Angeles punk scene by lead singer Belinda Carlisle and guitarist Jane Wiedlin, the Hollywood punkettes quickly recruited lead guitarist Charlotte Caffey. Solidifying their lineup with the rhythm section of drummer Gina Schock and bassist Kathy Valentine, the band’s energetic club shows and catchy songs propelled them to the forefront of the city’s vibrant music scene. Despite their popularity, the male-dominated record industry refused to see the young women’s potential. Signed to legendary IRS Records in 1981, the Go-Go’s proved their doubters wrong with their debut album, “Beauty and the Beat.” Fueled by the hits “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got the Beat,” a fledgling MTV and non-stop touring, the band and their music were embraced by audiences around the world. 

The Go-Go’s became the first—and still, to date, only—all-female band to top the Billboard charts. Writing their own songs, playing their instruments and persistently believing in their right to be heard, these young women not only captured the hearts of music lovers; they represented possibility and self-determination. Singing sunny melodies with weighty lyrics evoking dreams, thrills, loss, love and female empowerment, the Go-Go’s evoked the essence of California cool. With follow up albums “Vacation” (1982) and “Talk Show” (1984) and hit songs “Vacation” and “Head Over Heels,” the Go-Go’s continued their trailblazing course, helping define the punk-pop genre. Their influence on generations of female musicians and countless bands is immeasurable.

After a mid-80’s breakup, the Go-Go’s returned in 1990 to continue their career. A new full-length album, “God Bless the Go-Go’s,” was released in 2000 and a new charting single, “Club Zero,” in 2020. Their legions of loyal fans kept them prominent with honors including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, induction into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame and a permanent place in the Greek Theater Rock Walk. Rolling Stone recently named “Our Lips Are Sealed” the 7th best song of the 1980s and ranked “Vacation” No. 9 on its list of best summer songs of all time. In 2018, the Go-Go’s songs became the inspiration for a Broadway musical, “Head Over Heels.” A full-length documentary, “The Go-Go’s,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020. The accolades culminated in 2021 when the Go-Go’s were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, delivering a triumphant performance before their fans and peers broadcast on HBO.

View more inductees from the 17h class, inducted in 2024.