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Emma Watkins
Emma Watkins in Toronto - 2018 (44167590694) (cropped).jpg
Watkins in 2018
Background information
Birth name Emma Olivia Watkins
Also known as
  • Emma Wiggle
  • Emma Memma
Born (1989-09-21) 21 September 1989 (age 34)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres Children's
  • Singer
  • actress
  • dancer
  • children's entertainer
  • Vocals
  • drums
  • guitar
Years active 2010–present
Labels ABC Kids / ABC Music

Emma Olivia Watkins (born 21 September 1989) is an Australian children's entertainer, singer, actress, and dancer, best known as a former member of the children's group the Wiggles from 2013 to 2021. She replaced Greg Page after the group's lineup changes and was the first female member of the group. Due to her popularity as a Wiggle, she received her own spinoff children's show called Emma!, which featured her in her yellow Wiggles outfit as a solo performer. She debuted her own children's entertainment character, Emma Memma, in 2022; releasing her first solo children's music album in September 2022. In early 2023, she released a book titled Hello, Emma Memma. An accompanying television series titled Emma Memma: Sing. Dance. Sign. is in development.

Early life

Watkins started ballet when she was four. She saw the Wiggles perform Irish dancing and later studied other styles of dance, including jazz, hip hop, tap and contemporary. She attended The McDonald College, a performing arts school; won a full scholarship at the Sydney Film School; and completed a certificate specialising in musical theatre at ED5 International in Sydney. Watkins earned a master's degree in Media Arts and Production at the University of Technology Sydney. She has taught dance to children since she was in high school. She has also performed in Bollywood films, learned drums and other percussion instruments, was crowned Miss Granny Smith Apples in 2009, and was learning Auslan, the Australian sign language, by 2012. As of 2021, she was doing her PhD research on sign language and dance.


2010–2021: The Wiggles

In 2010, Watkins began performing with the Wiggles, first as Fairy Larissa and then as Wags the Dog, Dorothy the Dinosaur, and as a Wiggly Dancer. She used her film skills during tours with the group, providing them with video and editing services. In May 2012, the Wiggles announced that Watkins would become the first female Wiggle, replacing founding member Greg Page as the Yellow Wiggle. The original members stated that they chose Watkins because she was the most qualified for the job, and commented that it was "a strategy for marketing the Wiggles into the next generation".

Lisa Tolin of the Associated Press called Watkins a strong role model for girls, and reported that her fans came to concerts dressed like her and that they gave her homemade bows, which had become part of her signature look. Because of her popularity, the company produced a new television series titled Emma!, featuring Watkins as a solo performer, which aired in 2015. Up to 80% of the audience at Wiggles concerts would emulate her costuming and wear yellow; by 2021 it was estimated that 50% of the group's merchandising was specific to the "Emma" brand.

In September 2019, it was announced that Watkins would host weekend afternoon programs on Sydney and Melbourne radio station smoothfm. In October 2020, Watkins appeared in the music video for "Back 2 Back" by Samantha Jade. At the 2020 ARIA Music Awards in November, she joined an ensemble of Australian women singers to perform "I Am Woman" as a tribute to its singer and songwriter, Helen Reddy.

It was reported through corporate filings that Watkins had acquired approximately 8% ownership of the Wiggles' brand as well as a company directorship in June 2018. Watkins announced her departure from the Wiggles in October 2021 and was replaced by Tsehay Hawkins.

2022–present: Emma Memma

In early 2022, Watkins hinted at the introduction of a new children's entertainment character, Emma Memma, through her social media. The new character was designed to incorporate elements of song, dance and sign language. Toronto-based company Headspinner Productions announced their partnership with Watkins in July 2022 to debut the character in a new pre-school television series titled Emma Memma: Sing. Dance. Sign. Watkins was appointed as an executive producer for the series, to be produced through her company Apricot Sea. The series is expected to begin filming in early 2023 for release later in the year. The character and its design were officially revealed in July; music videos were subsequently released through YouTube. In February 2023, Watkins released a book to go with her Emma Memma character, music and upcoming children's television series. The book was titled Hello, Emma Memma.

During this period, Watkins competed on the fourth season of the Australian version of The Masked Singer as "Zombie" placing eighth. She also appeared as a celebrity contestant on the 2022 Lego Masters Australia Christmas special. Watkins provided the narration for the ABC children's series Reef School in 2022. In 2023, Watkins competed on the seventh season of The Amazing Race Australia with her sister, Hayley Watkins; tying equal first with Darren McMullen and nephew Tristan, and Alli Simpson and mother Angie.

Personal life

Watkins and fellow Wiggles performer Lachlan Gillespie were married on 9 April 2016 at Hopewood House in Bowral, New South Wales. On 3 August 2018, Watkins and Gillespie announced their separation.

In April 2018, Watkins was forced to withdraw from several shows, suffering from pain caused by severe endometriosis. She underwent surgery after being diagnosed with Stage IV endometriosis. Her specialist, Professor Jason Abbott, believes that Watkins' speaking out about her diagnosis helped raise awareness of the condition.

On 5 April 2021, Watkins announced her engagement to Oliver Brian, a musician who worked with the Wiggles. They had begun dating in December 2019. On 2 May 2022, she and Brian were married.


List of solo studio albums, with selected details and chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
Emma Memma 35
Ballet Time
  • Released: 17 August 2023
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: digital download, streaming


Television roles
Year Title Role Notes References
2022 The Masked Singer Zombie Season 4
Reef School Narrator
Lego Masters Australia Christmas special Herself Christmas special
2023 The Amazing Race Australia Herself Season 7

Awards and nominations

AIR Awards

The Australian Independent Record Awards (commonly known informally as AIR Awards) is an annual awards night to recognise, promote and celebrate the success of Australia's Independent Music sector.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2023 Emma Memma Best Independent Children's Album or EP Nominated

ARIA Music Awards

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2023 Emma Memma Best Children's Album Won
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