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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Artist of the week: Heintje

Hendrik Nikolaas Theodoor Simons, known as Heintje and later on as Hein Simons, (born 12 August 1955, Bleijerheide, a section of Kerkrade, Netherlands), is a Dutch singer and actor.
Heintje was born the son of a coal miner who had to retire because of silicosis, reducing the family to near poverty. The family opened a small cafe where Heintje used to sing along with the jukebox. When he was 11, he entered a local singing contest. He beat 30 competitors to win the contest. Producer Addy Kleijngeld heard about him and went to audition him at his home. After hearing only a few notes, he took him on as a client and became his manager. On becoming wealthy, Heintje moved his family back to his father's birthplace, Neu Moresnet in Belgium, where he still lives to this day.

He became particularly famous as a child singer, with hit song "Mama" (written by Cesare Andrea Bixio, Bruno Cherubini and Bruno Balz) in 1967, and as a child actor, with his appearances in numerous German films in the 1960s and 1970s (some of these were dubbed into English and also Afrikaans). He also enjoyed success with English songs, notably of which is "I'm Your Little Boy". In 1971, The Los Angeles Times described him as, "the hottest property in Europe." The same article quoted the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as saying of him, "No one is bigger in German show business."

His 1967 recording of "Mama" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold record. The following year his debut album Heintje went on to sell over two million copies, resulting in a platinum record award. Other records selling over a million units included "Du sollst nicht weinen", "Heidschi bumbeidschi" and the seasonal album, Weihnachten mit Heintje. His sales over 1968 and 1969 alone totaled over 10 million.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heintje_Simons

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