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Dolly Dots in 1981
|Genres||Pop, Dance, MOR|
|Years active||1979–1988, 1998, 2006–2007|
|Labels||Warner Bros. Records|
|Past members||Angela Groothuizen
Dolly Dots were a popular Dutch girl band in the 1980s. With their style of upbeat dance/pop, they scored many hits throughout Europe. The sextet consisted of Angela Groothuizen, Angéla Kramers, Anita Heilker, Esther Oosterbeek, Patty Zomer and Ria Brieffies.
The Dolly Dots had many hits between 1979 and 1988. They were most successful in the Netherlands, but they also scored hits in the rest of Europe. Their single "Radio" was a big hit in Japan. "P.S." was a Top 50 Billboard Hot Dance Club Play hit in 1981. They also enjoyed hits in Turkey, Lebanon, Iceland, and toured through Egypt.
At the peak of their success in 1984 the Dolly Dots had their own TV series, Barbie dolls, wallpaper, and a #1 hit, "Love Me Just a Little Bit More (Totally Hooked On You)". At the end of the next year, Anita Heilker left the group to have a daughter. She later became the Dutch voice of Donald Duck. The rest of the band continued as a five-piece.
Heilker had already launched her own career. In 1986 she released four solo singles ("You've Got Me Keyed Up", "Into The Night", "Dancing On The Moon" and "Don't Treat Me Like This"), as well as a solo album (The Girl In Black).
Since the TV series' success in 1984, there had been plans to record a Hollywood movie. In the summer of 1986 the 5 remaining Dolly Dots finally went to the US to work with an unfinished script and made a movie called Dutch Treat, which was released later that year. The movie and its soundtrack were modest successes in The Netherlands but were not released in the US due to poor reviews. The group broke up in 1988. Their last single was an attempt to break into the UK market. The Dolly Dots teamed up with hit producers Stock Aitken Waterman and released the song "What a Night". It reached number 18 in the Dutch charts, but was not successful in the UK.
On October 2, 1988, the Dolly Dots played a farewell show at the Amsterdam Escape. After more than 9 years, they felt the time was right to go their separate ways; as Ria Brieffies would later say, "There's more to life than being a Dolly Dot".
Angela Groothuizen teamed up with Ruud Mulder, former guitarist of disco/funk-contemporaries Spargo, to record as Angela & the Rude. She also began a television hosting career for AVRO starting in 1990 with an adaptation of Challenge Anneka; this was followed by Sex with Angela and later, Who's the Mole?. Her contract expired in 2005 and was not renewed. Groothuizen has since moved to RTL 4 where she was a panel judge for X Factor, The Voice of Holland and The Voice Kids. She is also host of the show Een Nieuw Begin. Angela is still making music and has her own theatre shows.
Patty Zomer became a fashion stylist for several well-known Dutch artists and magazines. In the early 2000s she co-hosted The Fashion Police with footballer's wife Nada van Nie.
On October 1, 1998 all six Dolly Dots were interviewed by Paul de Leeuw and surprised everyone by singing a medley of three of their biggest hits. Two months later they reunited for a one-off concert to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their split, and the release of a compilation album of all their hits, called The Collection.
In 2003, Aad Ouberg, who was closely involved with the group, was responsible for getting a Dolly Dots musical off the ground. The musical Love Me Just a Little Bit More played at The Chassé Theatre in Breda and around the Netherlands during 2004.
As result of renewed interest in the group after the musical, Warner Bros. Records released a Dolly Dots greatest hits compilation album of the group as well as a DVD. In 2007, all six original members reunited for a series of guest performances during Vrienden van Amstel Live. Their success there led to three concerts of their own in Ahoy Rotterdam. The DVD of those concerts reached gold status in the Netherlands. In 2008 a tour followed, called 'Goodbye For Now'.
Ria Brieffies, who went on to pursue culinary interests, was diagnosed with cancer in November 2008; she died on July 20, 2009. Angela Groothuizen announced that without Brieffies, the Dolly Dots would never perform again.
In 2011 Anita Heilker made her comeback as a solo artist in a Dutch show called: The Winner Is...
- Patrick van den Hanenberg, Frank Verhallen. Nederlands cabaret, 1970–1995: het is weer tijd om te bepalen waar het allemaal op staat. Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 1996. p. 104
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