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## Encyclopedia > The B-52's

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# The B-52's

The B-52's are a rock band from Athens, Georgia, the first of many from the college town that has become one of the most important centers in alternative rock. The name comes from the bouffant wigs that are a part of the band's distinctive look, worn by singers Cindy Wilson[?] and Kate Pierson. Along with Wilson and Pierson, Keith Strickland[?], Ricky Wilson[?] (who died in 1985) and Fred Schneider[?] formed the band after a drunken night at a Chinese restaurant.

Their first single, "Rock Lobster" in 1978 (see 1978 in music), was an underground success that led to the B-52's performing at CBGB's[?] and Max's Kansas City[?] in New York City. Their debut, The B-52's[?], was a minor hit, and the follow-up, Wild Planet[?], reached the Top 20 on the album charts.

Though recording sessions with David Byrne (of Talking Heads) failed, the recordings were released as Mesopotamia[?] in 1982 (see 1982 in music). After Whammy![?] in 1983 (see 1983 in music), a Schneider solo album and Bouncing off the Satellites[?] (1986; see 1986 in music), Ricky Wilson died of what was later revealed to be AIDS-related causes. The band spent three years recovering, and returned with Cosmic Thing[?] in 1989 (see 1989 in music), which launched three hits, "Roam", "Deadbeat Club" and "Love Shack", which is perhaps their most well-remembered song today.

Cindy Wilson departed the next year, not returning until touring began for a 1998 (see 1998 in music) greatest hits collection.

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