10 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Dutch Singers Of All Time

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

The Netherlands is known for tulips and windmills, but this country is also the birthplace of some incredibly talented singers. Dutch singers span a wide range of genres, including metal, rock, country, R&B, and pop showing up in places you wouldn’t have thought of!

Our list of the 10 most famous Dutch singers will introduce you to some of the top names in the Netherlands’ music scene. 

1. Anouk

Born in the Hague, Anouk is a singer and songwriter who rose to fame in 1997 with her hit single “Nobody’s Wife.” The explosive rock song was reminiscent of Alanis Morisette’s songs in the 1990s.

Anouk started out by singing at weddings and other events, taking after her mother, who was also a singer. She spent two years studying at the Codarts University for the Arts in Rotterdam.

Her debut album Together Alone was released in 1997. She blends alternative rock and pop in her songs like “Birds” and “Three Days In A Row.” She has released a total of 14 albums to date.

Anouk has won 9 Edison Awards and 2 MTV Europe Music Awards. In 2006, she was named Best Dutch Female Singer by 3FM radio station.

2. Jan Smit

Singer Jan Smit was born in Volendam and began his career at the age of 10. At that time, he went by the name Jantje Smit and performed until he was 20. His song “Ik Zing Dit Lied Voor Jou Alleen” (I Sing This Song For You Alone) was the first song ever to enter the Dutch charts at #1.

Changing his name to Jan Smit in 2005, he continued to have a successful solo career. In 2015, he joined the singing group KLUBBB3, and in 2017, he became part of The Toppers, another singing trio.

Smit has also worked as an actor and has hosted music television shows in the Netherlands. In 2006, he won an Edison Award for Best National Singer. 

3. Floor Jansen

Born in Goirle, Floor Jansen is a singer and songwriter. At the age of 16, she started as the lead vocalist for the metal band Apocalypse, which was later called After Forever. She was with the band for a total of 12 years.

Jansen sang with the band ReVamp from 2009 until they split up in 2016. She is currently the lead singer of the metal band Nightwish, which she joined in 2012. They have released two albums: Endless Forms Most Beautiful and Human. :II: Nature.

In 2018, Jansen also joined the hard rock group Northward, and in 2021, she began a solo career. She is also a member of the progressive metal supergroup Star One.

4. Natalie La Rose

Singer, songwriter, and dancer Natalie La Rose was born in Amsterdam and has Surinamese ancestry. She studied at the Lucia Marthas Dance Academy in Amsterdam before moving to Los Angeles at the age of 20.

Popular La Rose songs include her 2015 debut single “Somebody” and “Around The World.” She has also collaborated with big names in the music industry, such as Flo Rida, Fetty Wap, Fifth Harmony, Jeremih, and Tiesto.

La Rose has performed at the Latin American Music Awards and the Disney Music Awards as well. She has been nominated for 2 MTV Europe Music Awards and has been recognized by the Dutch EBBA Awards as part of the Top 10 Emerging Artists in 2017.

5. Waylon

Born in Apeldoorn, Waylon is a country and pop singer similar in style to Colin James. While his birth name is Willem Bijkerk, he changed his name to Waylon in honor of well-known American singer Waylon Jennings, with whom he performed in the United States.

Waylon was the first male Dutch artist to be signed to Universal Music’s Motown label. His debut album Wicked Ways came out in 2009 and included the hit single “Wicked Way.”

He has released a total of six albums to date, featuring songs like “The Escapist,” “Outlaw In ‘Em,” and “Grasping Song.” He has collaborated with other big names in the music scene such as Bruce Gaitsch, Rachel Kramer, and Ilse Delange. 

6. Marco Borsato

Born in Alkmaar, singer Marco Borsato saw success with his first Dutch single, “Dromen Zijn Bedrog,” in 1994. Prior to this, Borsato had been singing and performing in Italian.

Borsato’s hit songs include “Because We Believe,” “Every Time I Think Of You,” “De Bestemming” (The Destination), “Binnen” (Within), and “Lopen Op Het Water” (Walking On The Water). He has also collaborated with other popular singers like Ali B, Andrea Bocelli, and Lucie Silvas.

For over 30 years, Borsata has been one of the top artists in the Netherlands. He has had 15 #1 singles — more than any other artist besides the Beatles. He has also won 3 Edison Awards.

7. Trijntje Oosterhuis

Singer and songwriter Trijntje Oosterhuis was born in Amsterdam and started her first band at the age of 17. Along with her brother, she performed in Total Touch until 2001. Their self-titled debut album came out in 1997 and included the hit single “Touch Me There.”

Oosterhuis then pursued a solo career, releasing her debut self-titled album in 2003. Her top songs include “Walk Along” and “What The World Needs Now.” 

Over the course of her career, she has collaborated with artists such as Lionel Richie, Burt Bacharach, Candy Dulfer, and Anouk. She was also a member of the group Ladies of Soul.

8. Eva Simons

Born in Amsterdam, Eva Simons is a pop and R&B singer and songwriter. She is also a music producer and pianist.

Simons grew up surrounded by music as both of her parents were musicians, as was her grandfather. She studied music at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, the largest music academy in the country.

Some of her hit songs include “Policeman,” “Silly Boy,” “I Don’t Like You,” and “Celebrate The Rain.” She has also worked with artists such as Beyonce, will.i.am, LMFAO, Afrojack, and Chris Brown.

In 2012, she was nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Dutch Act. The same year, her song “Love Me Like You Mean It” won the Pop Songs Award at the BMI London Awards.

9. Maan

Pop singer and actress Maan was born in Utrecht. She was the winner of The Voice of Holland’s sixth season in 2016, where she performed her version of Beyonce’s “Halo.”

Maan released her first single “Perfect World” in 2016, followed by “Ride It” the same year. Some of her other top songs include “Blijf Bij Mij” (Stay With Me), “Hij Is Van Mij” (He’s Mine), “Ze Huilt Maar Ze Lacht” (She Cries But She Laughs), and “Blijven Slapen” (Stay Sleeping).

Her debut album Onverstaanbaar came out in 2020 and was met with success. Maan has collaborated with various artists including Dutch rappers Snelle, Ronnie Flex, Kraantje Pappie, Bizzey, and Sevn Alias.

10. Sharon den Adel

Singer and songwriter Sharon den Adel was born in Waddinxveen. She has been a songwriter and lead singer for the metal band Within Temptation since it was formed in 1996. Their success started with the release of their hit song “Ice Queen.”

Den Adel also began to pursue a solo singing career in 2017. Her debut solo album My Indigo included a track by the same name.

She has collaborated with the American rock band Evanescence, Finnish heavy metal singer Tarja, and Dutch rapper Ali B. She also won Loudwire’s Rock Goddess of the Year Award in 2011 and 2014.

Wrapping Up Our List Of Best Dutch Singers

If you want to explore some new music, definitely check out these top Dutch singers.

Whether you’re a fan of heavy metal, traditional Dutch music, or contemporary pop music, our list has something for everyone to enjoy!

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.