Ilse Annoeska de Lange (born 13 May 1977) is a Dutch country and pop singer, better known as Ilse DeLange (American spelling).
Ilse Annoeska de Lange was born on May 13, 1977 in Almelo, Netherlands. She started her career at the age of 8 as a lip-synching artist, which won her several contests. De Lange drew greater attention after switching to a live repertoire in both regional and national talent shows in Hilversum (the Dutch city where most TV-programs are recorded). This helped her book some live-performances on national television. She formed a duo with guitarist Joop Liefland, who introduced her to country music.
In 1994 Ilse performed at the Dutch Country Music Awards. Despite positive reviews, nothing happened with her career. She did get in touch with representatives of Warner Music but it took several years of negotiation before Warner Music decided to offer Ilse a contract. In 1996 DeLange joined the popgroup Wij where the group released the single "De Oorlog Meegemaakt" ("Experienced The War"). However the single did not chart the Dutch Top 40.
1998: World Of Hurt edit:
In 1998 while a member of the group Cash On Delivery, she traveled to Nashville, U.S. to record her debut album World Of Hurt with top producer Barry Beckett. She became well known in the Netherlands because her album was recorded in the capital of country music. Her album received big success in her home country, selling 450,000 copies in total. In Holland, Ilse received a TMF Award and an Edison Award for her musical success in 1999. Unfortunately World of Hurt was not released in the States, despite some interest due to guest vocals from Vince Gill, and Ilse's cover of Beth Nielsen Chapman's song "World of Hurt", and Patty Larkin's song "Lonely Too".
1999: Dear John edit:
In 1999 Ilse released a live album called: Dear John. Dear John was a limited edition release, on which Ilse covered songs by singer/songwriter John Hiatt as a tribute. She went on a mini-tour in support of the album, which lasted several months during 1999. The album went platinum in the Netherlands (with sales of 80,000 copies).
2000: Livin' on Love edit:
Rumors of a new album were heard in mid 2000. The first single "Livin' on Love" was released in October. November saw the release of her sophomore studio album Livin' on Love, which was a musical departure from her debut, leaning more toward pop/rock. The country music scene was not as excited by this album. Although there was a good amount of promotion for the album, it could not compete with the success of World of Hurt, hitting its peak at #5. Livin' on Love still went platinum though.
With this album, Ilse gained even more State-side interest (although not released in the States) due to her covers of 2 songs by popular American singer/songwriters Buddy and Julie Miller (I Still Cry and Ride the Wind to Me), and other songs written by Patty Larkin, Jude Cole and Wayne Kirkpatrick. Alison Krauss also provided guest vocals.
In 2001 DeLange started her Livin' on Love Tour, performing in many theaters and concert halls throughout her home country. Meanwhile, Warner Music attempted to promote this release as her "breakthrough" release in the America. Although "World Of Hurt" was planned to be released in the States, the record labels in America thought the album was too old-fashioned to be released. Ilse set her hopes on the release of "Livin' on Love", but once again the album was not released for unknown reasons,. There were rumours that the American label did not like the sound of the album. Due to the trouble she had in America, DeLange decided to break all cords with the States, and focus more on her career in the BeNeLux region.
She won an Edison Award for best Dutch artist in 2000. Due to all the business problems the singer became physically exhausted. During a performance in Paradiso (Amsterdam), Ilse experienced vocal problems, and emotionally told the fans in the hall that she could not continue the performance. On doctors advice she took a few weeks rest. Several months later she performed at Parkpop.
2003: Clean Up edit:
In March 2002 DeLange and her partner Bart Vergoossen went to America for 9 months to work on a new album. During the recording sessions DeLange took a greater creative role in her music, including receiving song-writing credit for the entire album. In April 2003 she released Clean Up, her third studio album. This album continued with the pop/rock sound she experimented with on Livin' on Love. Her songwriting on Clean Up was autobiographical. Ilse was satisfied with the results and despite the new sound, the album became a big success.
During this time DeLange donated a contribution to the charity foundation War Child. Together with Trijntje Oosterhuis and Jacqueline Govaert she performed "Because" during a "Friends of Warchild" concert.
In October Ilse released a compilation album called: Here I Am - 1998/2003. The album went Platinum and contained DeLange's best work in a single release.
2004-2007: Search for a new record company and The Great Escape edit:
At the beginning of 2004, the Dutch section of record company Warner Music was disbanded and Ilse lost her contract. A few months later, she collaborated on the song Blue with Italian singer Zucchero. The song was a moderate success in the Netherlands, reaching #23 in the Dutch Top 40. There was no information about a new record deal, but Ilse stated that she was working on her future.
In the end of 2005 she went on tour, without releasing a new album or even having a record company. Every concert sold out. She began working with producer Patrick Leonard on a new album, which stirred up the fire that she signed a new record deal. Later that year, it was confirmed Ilse signed a new contract with Universal Music.
Her first release on the new label was the single The Great Escape, peaking at #11 in the Dutch Top 40. Her fourth studio album The Great Escape, was released on June 16, 2006. It went gold only a week after its release and platinum two months later. In September the second single The Lonely One was released, which peaked at #18. Third single, I Love You, was released in February 2007 and peaked at #23. The song was included on the soundtrack for the Dutch movie adaptation of Steel Magnolias. Then the song Reach For The Light was released as a promo-only single, nevertheless it charted at #51. In October 2007 she released a live album, simply called Live.
2008-2010: Incredible and Next To Me EP edit:
In 2008 Ilse stated she was writing and recording a new album in Swedish city Gothenburg. Before that, she went to England to work with the same songwriters which were working on the debut album of James Morrison. The first single of her forthcoming album was So Incredible, which peaked at #6. The album Incredible was released at October 17, 2008 and went platinum in less than a month. Next single Miracle came to be her biggest hit to date, reaching the top spot of the Dutch Top 40. It was written as the title track for the Dutch movie Bride Flight. Third single Puzzle Me peaked at #5 and radio-only release We're Alright peaked at #21, in spite of it not being released as a single.
After releasing another live album, Ilse went on and started working on new material. The single Next To Me was released in July, 2010 and reached a #9-spot. Her first EP Next To Me, was released at August 27, 2010. The album only included eight tracks, Ilse explaining that "...she wanted to release new material more often, but due to a heavy touring schedule and contractual obligations didn't have the time to record a whole album". Second single Beautiful Distraction charted at #18 and third single Carousel peaked at #32. In early 2011, Next To Me has been certified 2x Platinum.
2011-present: Shelved album DoLuv2LuvU and Eye Of The Hurricane edit:
In November 2011 Ilse released her new single DoLuv2LuvU. The song was the theme song of Serious Request 2011, a big charity-event held yearly by Dutch radio station 3FM. While promoting the single, Ilse heard her father was incurably ill. She immediately stopped all kinds of promotion and postponed the recording process of her new album DoLuv2LuvU. A day after her father's death, at January 10, 2012, she posted an acoustic version of her song Without You on Twitter, which featured on her 2007 live album. Later that year, Ilse revealed that the DoLuv2LuvU-album was shelved and she started recording a new album. This because she didn't feel the flow of the album anymore after her father had died. She doesn't rule out the possibility it's going to be released in the future. Her seventh album Eye Of The Hurricane, was released September 14, 2012. The single DoLuv2LuvU isn't on the album.