The Wiggles, the long-running children's band with millions of albums sold, have added a new member to their lineup. Last week, revealed that Tsehay Hawkins is set to become the new Yellow Wiggle when Emma Watkins departs the group at the end of this year, after nine years of performing in the yellow skivvy as the first ever female Wiggle. Hawkins, who comes from Ethiopia, will be the first Black woman to be a member of the Wiggles cast, and the youngest person ever to join the cast, at just 15 years old. The passing of the yellow skivvy has proven to be ground-breaking for The Wiggles.
Watkins decided to hang up her yellow bow at the end of the year, saying she wants to spend more time with her family and pursuing other interests, including her work with the Deaf community.
You can see her short intro video below.
Please join us in giving a warm Wiggly welcome to our new Yellow Wiggle and say, "Hey, Tsehay!" 💛
Tsehay is pronounced se-hi and means 'the sun' in Amharic. You may recognise Tsehay as one of the new Wiggles' cast members of Fruit Salad TV! pic.twitter.com/Hh30vT1pfu
— The Wiggles (@TheWiggles) October 19, 2021
"After 11 years of performing with The Wiggles, and nine of those as the Yellow Wiggle, the time has come for me to pass the yellow skivvy on," Watkins said in a statement. "I am looking forward to devoting more time and energy on completing my PhD that incorporates my ongoing passion for sign language, dance and film editing, and to having more time to work with the Deaf community. I am eternally grateful to The Wiggles for giving me the amazing opportunity to be the first female Wiggle, a role that I have loved and one that has brought me so much joy and an abundance of bowtiful memories that I will treasure forever."
"Emma first began performing with The Wiggles 11 years ago, when she was cast as Fairy Larissa in our Dorothy the Dinosaur concerts and videos. She went on to play other roles including Wags the Dog, Dorothy the Dinosaur, and as a Wiggly dancer. Then in 2013, Greg famously handed over the yellow skivvy to Emma, making her the first female Wiggle," said founding member Anthony Field on behalf of the band. "We've had an amazing time with Emma over this period and while we're sad to see her go. We thank Emma for her wonderful contribution to The Wiggles and wish her all the very best as we look forward to seeing her continued success with her other interests."
The Wiggles are an Australian children's music group formed in Sydney, New South Wales in 1991. The members of the band were not looking to start a children's group, per se, but rather had been members of various bands who found success entertaining younger audiences. The group has gone on to such enormous success that there are other groups of international performers licensed to act as the Wiggles in different countries.
Tsehay (pronounced se-hi, which means 'the sun' in Amharic) was recently announced as one of the new Wiggles' cast members of Fruit Salad TV. She is an award-winning dancer, representing Australia at the World Latin Dance Championships. Tsehay has also won eleven Australian titles and four World titles in Latin and Commercial Dance and is the current Australian and World Youth Ladies Salsa and Urban Latin Champion and the current World Amateur Ladies Salsa and Urban Latin Champion.
"I am honoured to be joining The Wiggles at such an exciting time for the group. I grew up watching The Wiggles and I've already loved working with Anthony, Emma, Simon, Lachy, Evie, Kelly, John and all the Wiggly characters filming their latest TV series Fruit Salad TV," Hawkins said. "I'm now incredibly excited to be joining them in the yellow skivvy and to have the chance to go out on the road in the new arena tour, I can't wait to meet all the Wiggly fans. Dancing has always been my passion, and I look forward to being able to share the joy of song and dance with children all over the world!"
Fruit Salad TV is a YouTube series featuring young performers that launched earlier this year.
"As The Wiggles continue to evolve and we look towards the future, we're very excited to be welcoming Tsehay into the yellow skivvy, and know that parents and children everywhere will embrace her infectious energy and warmth as much as everyone at The Wiggles and audiences of Fruit Salad TV already have," Field, who performs as the Blue Wiggle, said of the new member.
Tsehay will join Anthony, Lachy and Simon on the road when The Wiggles make their return to touring in North America in 2022.