Caro Emerald

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Caro Emerald
Caro Emerald singing
Emerald singing in Hilversum, Netherlands, on 4th May 2013
Background information
Birth name Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw
Born (1981-04-26) 26 April 1981 (age 37)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Genres Jazz, pop, swing
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2007—present
Labels Grandmono Records

Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw (born 26 April 1981) is a Dutch pop and jazz singer. She debuted under the stage name "Caro Emerald" in July 2009 with "Back It Up". Follow-up single "A Night Like This" reached #1 in the Netherlands. Emerald is often praised for her outstanding live performances. She predominantly performs in English mixed in with her own made up language in the form of scat singing as demonstrated in her hit "Back It Up".

Debut album Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor was conceived, written, and produced as a studio project by David Schreurs, Vincent Degiorgio, Jan van Wieringen and van der Leeuw, with Caro as the starring artist. In August 2010, the album spent its 30th week at #1 in the Dutch album charts, setting an all-time record and beating Michael Jackson's "Thriller" by one week.[1] The album became the biggest selling album of 2010 in the Netherlands with over 350,000 copies to date. Worldwide, over 1.4 million copies have been sold. On 3 October 2010, Emerald was awarded the Dutch music prize "Edison Award" for Best Female Artist.[2]

May 2013, a second studio album The Shocking Miss Emerald was released. The album entered at #1 in the UK album chart.[3]

Early and personal life[edit]

Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw was born on 26 April 1981 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands[4] to a Dutch father and an Aruban mother. She started singing lessons at age 12 with James Gilloffo in Amsterdam and joined a girl vocal group, Les Elles, under his guidance. Following high school she trained as a jazz vocalist at the Amsterdam Conservatory, graduating in 2005.

During her September 2013 UK tour, she announced her pregnancy. She gave birth to a girl in March 2014.[5][6]

Emerald gave birth to a second daughter in August 2017.


In early 2007 Dutch producer Jan van Wieringen invited van der Leeuw to sing the vocal on a demo he was producing with David Schreurs. The song, "Back It Up", had been written by Schreurs and Canadian songwriter Vince Degiorgio and was based around a hip-hop beat created by Robin Veldman and Jan van Wieringen. Caro's jazzy vocal was considered a "perfect match" for the new song.[7]

The demo was pitched to various publishers and labels but nobody thought it had a strong chart potential.[7] In the meantime, however, the song was posted on YouTube reaching public notice around the world. Radio stations picked it up and the song gained popularity.

Degiorgio, Schreurs, van Wieringen and van der Leeuw realised their sound had potential and started working on a studio album. Writing began in the summer of 2008 using "Back It Up"'s mix of 40s–50s jazz, easy listening, orchestral Latin, combined with infectious beats as a model.[7] Adopting a sample based approach but with live instrumentation, the writing sessions drew from a wide range of influences including jazz organist Jackie Davis, exotica composer Martin Denny, mambo king Perez Prado, 20's/30's jazz and van der Leeuw's own vocal inspirations of The Andrews Sisters, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan.[7] The usual method would be for Schreurs to create the backing tracks and then get together with top line writer and lyricist Degiorgio to write the songs. Van der Leeuw co-wrote several songs on the album, and van Wieringen co-created the tracks for "The Other Woman" and "Dr Wanna Do".[7]

2009–12: Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor[edit]

Emerald singing in Rotterdam, Netherlands on 9 July 2010

After record labels either refused or failed to sign the project, Schreurs set up their own label Grandmono co-owned by van Wieringen and Caroline van der Leeuw. They released "Back It Up" as the first single on July 6, 2009. The song gained airplay and popularity overnight and listed in the Dutch Top 40 for 12 weeks, peaking at No. 12. Kraak & Smaak provided a remix of the song. "Back It Up" became the most played song on 3FM in 2009.[8]

Emerald's debut album Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor was completed in December 2009 and released on January 28, 2010, on Grandmono. It entered at number 1 in the Dutch Album Top 100 and stayed there for weeks. By August 2010, the album had been number 1 for 27 weeks, a record that beat Michael Jackson's Thriller, which spent 26 weeks at number one in 1983.[1] The album returned to number 1, spending a total of 30 non-consecutive weeks on top of the Dutch Albums Chart

The album reached double platinum status in the Netherlands on 5 July 2010.[9] In August 2010 it reached triple platinum,[1] in November 2010 four times platinum (200.000)[10], and in December 2011, six platinum (over 300,000 albums sold). Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor spent 104 weeks in the official album charts until it was removed due to a Dutch chart rule which provided that albums can't spend more than 2 years in the charts. It returned and climbed as high as No. 8 after albums could re-enter the album charts if they are sold at full price.

The second single from the album was "A Night like This". The song was listed in the Dutch Top 40 for 26 weeks and peaked at number 2. In the national single charts, the song peaked at number 1. It was the most played song in The Netherlands in 2010.

In 2011, the album was released throughout Europe with great commercial success. Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor became a hit in the UK (1× platinum with sales exceeding 360,000, 8 weeks top 10 peaking at No. 4), Germany (1× platinum with sales exceeding 280,000, peaking at No. 5 and Platinum single for "A Night Like This" with sales exceeding 340,000), Poland (6× platinum), Italy (Gold Single for "Back it Up"), and Austria (No. 1 with "A Night Like This") In the UK, all six singles and the entire album were A-listed by BBC Radio 2. Over 1,200,000 albums have been sold in Europe.[11]

The cinematic and upbeat sound of the album has resulted in frequent use in TV series and advertising around the world. "A Night Like This" appeared in the trailer of the NBC series The Playboy Club, a brand campaign by Martini, the trailer of 2 Days in New York, and The Secret Circle. "Back it Up" appeared in a TV ad for Wind Mobile. "That Man" appeared in Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars, The Vampire Diaries, Agent Carter, a UK advertising campaign for Sky TV, and has been incorporated in the original score of the Disney Nature film Chimpanzee.

Due to its exceptional success, the album was included in an episode of the Dutch version of Classic Albums in April 2012.[12] Emerald then recorded a version of Brook Benton's 1963 hit "You're All I Want for Christmas", sampling the original song to produce a duet with Benton, who died in 1988. The song was released in December 2011.[13] On New Year's Eve 2011 she appeared on Jools Holland's Hootenanny TV show backed by the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.

On 15 January 2011, Emerald won the Popprijs 2010 for best Dutch pop act of 2010.[14] In early 2012, she won two German awards: a Goldene Kamera for Best Musik International and an Echo Award for Best Newcomer International.

Emerald made her United States debut in January 2013, performing in Los Angeles and New York.

2013–14: The Shocking Miss Emerald[edit]

In April 2013, a second studio album The Shocking Miss Emerald was released. It went to No. 1 in the UK album chart, becoming the first UK No. 1 album. She performed in the UK at The BBC Radio Theatre; it was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Red Button.

On 29 June 2014, she played the opening music set on the pyramid stage at the Glastonbury Festival 2014.[15]

2015–present: Emerald Island[edit]

On 19 February 2015, Emerald announced that they were working on a third studio album.[citation needed]. In April 2015, Emerald released a single called "Quicksand",[citation needed] and on 27 April 2015 in the UK.[16]

"Coming Back as a Man" is the theme song for the Japanese TV talk show Matsuko and Matsuko starring gay activist Matsuko Deluxe.

In May 2016, Emerald, along with actress Pip Pellens, travelled to Uganda with Dutch organisation Plan Nederland. The aim of the project was to educate girls about menstruation.

In July 2016, Emerald and her live band played at the Colours of Ostrava festival, which was rated by The Guardian, as one of the Top 10 music festivals in Europe.[17]



Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions[24] Certifications
Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor
  • Release date: 29 January 2010
  • Label: Grandmono
  • Genre: Jazz, pop, hip hop
1 3 23 79 5 14 39 3 10 4
The Shocking Miss Emerald
  • Release date: 3 May 2013
  • Label: Grandmono
  • Genre: Jazz, pop, tango
1 69 3 31 166 3 21 71 17 3 1
  • BPI: Gold[40]
  • NVPI: Platinum
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released.

Live albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions[24]
Live at the Heineken Music Hall
(with the Grandmono Orchestra)
51 65 34

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
Emerald Island
  • Release date: 6 March 2017
  • Label: Grandmono


List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"Back It Up" 2009 13 11 33 70 53 190 Deleted Scenes from
the Cutting Room Floor
"A Night Like This" 1 10 52 4 1 2 1 9 65
"That Man" 2010 29 99 84
"Stuck" 28 18 41 42 48
"Riviera Life" 2011 70 25
"You're All I Want For Christmas"
(with Brook Benton)
26 Non-album single
"Tangled Up" 2013 6 13 62 81 53 77 9 The Shocking Miss Emerald
"Liquid Lunch" 64 182 70 89
"One Day" 75 152
"I Belong to You" 99 131
"Ne Me Quitte Pas" 2014 Non-album single
"Coming Back as a Man" The Shocking Miss Emerald
"Quicksand" 2015 103 Non-album single
"Whatchugot" 2017 Emerald Island
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.


  1. ^ a b c "Caro Emerald verbreekt record Michael Jackson" [Caro Emerald breaks Michael Jackson's record] (in Dutch). 20 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  2. ^ "Caro Emerald wins Edison for Best Female Artist (In Dutch)". 25 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "Caro Emerald Shines At No. 1 on U.K. Albums Chart, Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' Reigns Again". 13 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "iTunes Preview". Riviera Life – EP Caro Emerald reviews (in Dutch and English). Grandmono Records, & Apple Inc. 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Caro Emerald bevallen". 26 March 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "CARO EMERALD GIVES BIRTH TO HER BABY". 3 April 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Q&A on Caro Emerald with songwriter David Schreurs". HitQuarters. 23 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Caro Emerald meest gedraaid op 3FM" [Caro Emerald most played on 3FM]. de Volkskrant (in Dutch). 6 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Double Platinum". 5 July 2010. 
  10. ^ "4x Platinum NED". November 2011. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Caro Emerald maakt zelfstandige oversteek naar VS". 22 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  12. ^ "Classic Albums: Caro Emerald". 14 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  13. ^ "Kerstduet Caro Emerald en Brook Benton – Show – Algemeen – Nieuws – bndestem". 17 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  14. ^ "Caro Emerald wint Popprijs 2010". 15 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  15. ^ "English National Ballet and Caro Emerald". BBC Two @ Glastonbury. 29 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  16. ^ Eames, Tom (21 April 2015). "Caro Emerald announces new single and UK winter tour". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  17. ^ Coldwell, Will (4 April 2016). "Top 10 music festivals in Europe for 2016". Retrieved 1 August 2016 – via The Guardian. 
  18. ^ nl:Caro Emerald#Prijzen[better source needed]
  19. ^ "Caro Emerald Best Dutch and Belgian Act". de Pers (in Dutch). 8 October 2010. Archived from the original on 23 October 2010. 
  20. ^ "Winnaars Buma Harpen Gala 2011 bekend!". Buma Cultuur (in Dutch). 8 October 2010. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. 
  21. ^ "De Jeugd, Go Back to the Zoo en Caro winnen 3fm Awards". (in Dutch). 14 April 2011. 
  22. ^ "Ben Saunders grote winnaar TMF Awards". Telegraaf (in Dutch). 12 June 2011. 
  23. ^ "Preisträger der 47. GOLDENEN KAMERA – Caro Emerald". (in German). 25 January 2012. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. 
  24. ^ a b "Caro Emerald – Music Charts". 
  25. ^ a b c "Discografie Caro Emerald". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 9 March 2013. 
  26. ^ a b c "Discographie Caro Emerald". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 30 May 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "Discografie Caro Emerald". Hung Medien. 
  28. ^ a b "Discographie Caro Emerald". Hung Medien. 
  29. ^ a b "Discographie Caro Emerald". Hung Medien. 
  30. ^ "Search for: Caro Emerald – Albums". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. 
  31. ^ "FIMI - Pagina non trovata - FIMI". Archived from the original on 23 June 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  32. ^ "Discography Caro Emerald". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. 
  33. ^ a b "Caro Emerald". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 15 February 2014. 
  34. ^ a b "Caro Emerald - UK Charts". Official Charts Company. 
  35. ^ "Caro Emerald – NEWS – No. 8 ON THE UK ALBUM CHART". 21 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  36. ^ "Bundesverband Musikindustrie: Gold-/Platin-Datenbank". Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  37. ^ "Gold in Switzerland". 
  38. ^ "Album Caro Emerald 1.000.000 keer verkocht". 6 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  39. ^
  40. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 February 2013. Retrieved 2016-07-15. 
  41. ^ "Search for: Caro Emerald – Singles". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. 
  42. ^ "Peak position A Night Like This in Poland". 17 November 2010. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. 
  43. ^ "Peak position Back It Up and Stuck in Slovakia". 17 November 2010. 
  44. ^ "Peak position A Night Like This in Romanian Radio Airplay Chart". 31 December 2010. 
  45. ^ Rádio Top 100 Oficiální
  46. ^ Gaon Singles Chart
  47. ^ a b c d "CERTIFICAZIONI DOWNLOAD FIMI – Week 21- Ending: 29/05/2011" (PDF) (in Italian). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  48. ^ "Italian single certifications – Caro Emerald – Stuck" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  49. ^ "Certificazioni - Archivio" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2013.  Select Online, Week 26, Year 2013, then press Avvia la ricerca.

External links[edit]