The Wiggles are an Australian children's music group formed in Sydney, New South Wales in 1991. The current members of the group are Anthony Field, Lachlan Gillespie, Simon Pryce and Emma Watkins. The original members were Field, Phillip Wilcher, Murray Cook, Greg Page, and Jeff Fatt. Wilcher left the group after their first album. Page retired in 2006 due to ill health and was replaced by understudy Sam Moran, but returned in 2012, replacing Moran. At the end of 2012, Page, Cook and Fatt retired, although Cook and Fatt retained their shareholding in the group and all three continued to have input into the creative and production aspects of the group.
Field and Fatt were members of the Australian pop band The Cockroaches in the 1980s, and Cook was a member of several bands before meeting Field and Page at Macquarie University, where they were studying to become pre-school teachers. In 1991, Field became inspired to create an album of children's music based upon concepts of early childhood education, and enlisted Cook, Page, and Fatt to assist him. They began touring to promote the album, and became so successful, they quit their teaching jobs to perform full-time. The group augmented their act with animal characters Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, and Wags the Dog, as well as the character Captain Feathersword, played by Paul Paddick since 1993. They traveled with a small group of dancers, which grew into a larger troupe in their later years. They produced their DVDs, CDs, and television programs independently since their inception. The group's high point came in the early 2000s, after they broke into the American market.
The group was formally consolidated in 2005. They were listed at the top of Business Review Weekly's top-earning Australian entertainers four years in a row, and earned A$45 million in 2009. In 2011, the worldwide recession hit The Wiggles, as it had done for many Australian entertainers; they earned $28 million, but they still appeared second on the BRW's list that year. The Wiggles enjoyed almost universal approval throughout their history, and their music was played in pre-schools all over the world. They earned several Platinum, Double Platinum and Multi-Platinum records, as well as sold 23 million DVDs and seven million CDs, and performed, on average, to one million people per year. The group also earned multiple Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) and Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Awards throughout their history.