Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22: Belgian singer Kate Ryan is 33-years-old today.

Born Katrien Verbeeck in the village of Tessenderlo, Belgium, “Kate” grew up in a musical family, and at eight years old learned to play piano and guitar. Ryan played frequently in bars and cafés as a teenager, and one night she was offered a recording deal.

Kate became a member of a pop group called Melt at the age of 16. The group was active for two years, but they did not release any material commercially. When she met producer Andy Janssens, she left Melt and the pair began to write music together. Their debut single "Scream for More" was released in 2001, and it became a chart success. Later that year Ryan's second single, "UR (My Love),”firmed her position in Belgian charts.

Kate gained international prominence with a cover of Mylène Farmer's "Désenchantée,”which was a hit in various European pop music charts. She signed in with Belgian department of EMI and released her first album Different in 2002 exclusively in Europe. The album went Gold and Platinum in a number of countries.

Two singles off Different, "Mon cœur résiste encore" and "Libertine" (the first one being a French version of "Scream for More,”the latter a second cover of Farmer's number) also turned out a chart success. Kate's records were released in the USA under Robbins Entertainment label.

In 2004, Ryan released a second album in Europe, entitled Stronger. The album's lead single, "Only If I" met with a modest success across Europe. A cover of Cock Robin's "The Promise You Made" became the second single, earning even greater success. It was also recorded in French as "La Promesse.” A pop ballad "Goodbye" was released as the third single

In 2006 the singer participated in Eurosong '06, the national final to select the entrant for Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. However, she did not qualify for the final, finishing 12th. She was later voted best dressed performer by Eurovisions independent website

In 2007, she had some success with the double-sided single "Voyage Voyage"/"We All Belong.” In 2008, Ryan released two singles: "L.I.L.Y. (Like I Love You)" and then "Ella, elle l'a,”a cover of France Gall's song. Both tracks (as well as "Voyage Voyage" and "We All Belong") were included on her album Free, which was released in the middle of the year. The album included also a duet with Spanish singer Soraya Arnelas.

On November 9, 2008 in Monaco, Kate Ryan won the World Music Award as The Best Selling Benelux Artist. Two more singles promoted Free, including "I Surrender."

In 2009 she released the concept album French Connection. It was a compilation consisting of French-language-only material, including Ryan's previous hits recordings, and adding some new recordings. At the time. Kate announced that after French Connection she would only release material written by her.

True to her word, Ryan’s latest album is Electroshock, is in English and no covers are included. The album was preceded by a single "LoveLife." Another single "Broken" was released on October 7, 2011, followed by another single entitled "Robots."

For more about Kate, visit her Website at -


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