Belinda Jo Carlisle (born August 17, 1958) is an American singer and best-selling author who gained worldwide fame as the lead vocalist of the Go-Go's, considered by some to be the most successful all-female band of all time and, historically, the first such group whose members wrote their own songs and played their own instruments. Topping the Billboard charts with the Go-Go's, she sold more than seven million albums and later went on to a successful solo career with hits "Mad About You", "Summer Rain", "I Get Weak", "Leave a Light On" and "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" and others, which were major successes in the United States and United Kingdom as well as internationally. Her autobiography, Lips Unsealed, published in June 2010, reached No. 27 on the The New York Times Best Seller list and received favorable reviews. On August 11th 2011, she received, as a member of the Go-Go's, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Belinda Carlisle was born in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles to Harold, a travelling salesman (he sold vacuum cleaners) and his wife Joanne, who raised the children at home. The first of seven siblings, with three brothers and three sisters, she was five years old when her father abandoned the family and upon her mother's second marriage, did not have a close relationship with her stepfather, Duke Kurczeski. Growing up in Ventura County's Thousand Oaks, a part of the Greater Los Angeles Area, she was a cheerleader at Newbury Park High School and, at the age of 19, left home.
Carlisle's first venture into music was a brief stint as drummer for the punk band The Germs, under the name Dottie Danger. Around this time Carlisle did some back-up singing for the Black Randy and the Metrosquad. Soon after leaving The Germs, she co-founded The Go-Go's (originally named The Misfits), with friends and fellow musicians Margot Olaverria, Elissa Bello, and Jane Wiedlin. Olaverria and Bello were soon out of the group and the new line-up included bassist-turned-guitarist Charlotte Caffey, guitarist-turned-bassist Kathy Valentine, and drummer Gina Schock. The Go-Go's became one of the most successful American bands of the 1980s, helping usher New Wave music into popular American radio, and becoming the first all-female band, who wrote their own music and played their own instruments, to ever achieve a #1 album. The Go-Go's recorded two more studio albums on I.R.S. Records, including 1982 Vacation, which went gold. "Head over Heels", from their 1984 album Talk Show, made it to #11, but they never repeated the success of their 1981 multi-platinum debut, Beauty and the Beat, which featured the hits "We Got the Beat" and "Our Lips Are Sealed".