It’s good-bye from The Wiggles, who wave-off trailblazer Emma Watkins.
The first female Wiggle will hang up the yellow skivvy at year’s end to spend time with family and focus on her post-graduate studies.
“Like many people around the world, the pandemic has given me time to reflect on what is important in life,” Watkins explained in a social media post.
“For me, that means spending more time at home, something that I didn’t realise I was missing out on being away eight months of the year on tour.
In future, she’ll devote “more time and energy to focus on completing my PhD which incorporates my ongoing passion for sign language, dance and film editing, and to having more time to work with the deaf community.”
Watkins joined the children’s entertainment group in 2013, becoming the third Yellow Wiggle after Greg Page and Sam Moran.
Anthony Field, the Blue Wiggle and last remaining original band member, paid tribute to Watkins and the “wonderful contribution” she made to the group.
“We’ve had an amazing time with Emma over this period and while we’re sad to see her go, we know she has many other passions she’d like to pursue,” he explained in a social media post.
Thank you @Emma_Wiggle you will be missed! pic.twitter.com/gWvajL6hTu
— Anthony Field (@Anthony_Wiggle) October 18, 2021
Watkins’ replacement is Tsehay Hawkins who, at age 15, is the youngest member in Wiggles history.
Born in Ethiopia and raised in Australia, Hawkins, like so many millions of kids around the world, grew up watching The Wiggles.
This year marks The Wiggles’ 30th anniversary, which they’ll celebrate with the release of millions of special coins across Australia and a national tour featuring the original lineup of Anthony Field, Murray Cook, Jeff Fatt and Greg Page.
Formed in Sydney back in 1991, the band has sold more than 30 million albums and DVDs worldwide, and their TV shows are broadcast in more than 100 countries.
In 2005, the Wiggles became the first entertainers to win the Australian government’s Exporter Of the Year award and, in 2011, the year of their 20th anniversary, the band was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
Earlier in 2021, The Wiggles signed with Universal Music Publishing Group for their first exclusive, global publishing deal.