W.A.S.P. is an American heavy metal band formed in 1982. They emerged from the same Los Angeles scene that spawned Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Guns N' Roses and others. The band's popularity peaked in the 1980s, yet they continue to record and tour, making them one of the most enduring of the West Coast heavy metal bands. W.A.S.P. gained notoriety for their shock rock themed image, lyrics and live performances. They have sold over 12 million copies of their albums.
The band was a prominent target in the mid-1980s of the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) led by Tipper Gore, who at the time was wife of then-Senator Al Gore (D-TN), an organization that pushed for warning labels on recorded music. The band immortalized its fight with the PMRC on the song "Harder, Faster" from their 1987 live album, Live...In the Raw.
"I Wanna Be Somebody" was the most successful single from W.A.S.P.'s debut album. and It was ranked at No. 84 in VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs of All Time.
In October 2007, W.A.S.P. embarked on The Crimson Idol Tour, to celebrate that album's 15th anniversary. It is the first time that the album, often regarded to be among the band's finest work, was performed in full from start to finish. The tour kicked off in Greece, in Thessaloniki at the Principal Club Theater on October 26, 2007.
Blackie Lawless remains the only member from the original line-up. They released their most recent album in November 2009, entitled Babylon.
On September 21, 2012, the band celebrated the 30th anniversary of their first ever live show by kicking off a world tour at The Forum in London. The set for the tour was split into three sections: songs from the first four albums, a cut-down rendition of the Crimson Idol performance and a final segment for newer material.

Band name:
There has been much speculation over the origin of the band's name, and if it stands for anything, since it is written as an acronym. In interviews in the 1980s, critics claimed it stood for "We Are Sexual Perverts" or "We Are Sexual Prophets". (It is not known whether this was a serious statement.) It is believed by many that they said it for shock value. However, "Winged Assassins" is inscribed on the spine of the first pressing of vinyl of their debut album.
Alternatively, some people believe the initials W.A.S.P. stand for "We Are So Perfect" or even "We Are So Powerful." Another possible abbreviation is "White Anglo-Saxon Protestants", being the original meaning of the acronym. However, this is unlikely considering the fact that Blackie Lawless' mother is part Native American. It could be sarcastic, as songs like "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)" hardly fit into the usual picture of White Anglo-Saxon Protestantism. It has also been rumored that their name is an acronym for "We Are Sexual Perverts", "We All Smoke Pot," "We Are Satan's People," "We Are Satan's Preachers," "We Appreciate Stinky Pussy," or even "We Ate Savory Pancakes." When asked about the band's name Lawless has avoided giving a straight answer; in one interview he answered, "We Ain't Sure, Pal."
A former member, Rik Fox has stated that he was the "friend" that coined the name WASP. The original drummer Tony Richards has stated in an interview that Rik Fox and Blackie Lawless were outside making a smoke machine when a wasp landed on Rik's hand. He then said "Damn, that would be a killer name for the band". In a February 2010 interview, Lawless stated the main reason for the name was the periods. He claimed no band had ever used them before, and, in essence, the periods created a "question mark of uncertainty" to make them stand out more. He then went to say, "look where we are: it did!"
The original U.S. release of the W.A.S.P / W.A.S.P. vinyl had the words "We Are Sexual Perverts" inscribed on both sides around the label in the center.