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 35)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Genres Jazz; pop; electro swing
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2007—present
Labels Grandmono Records

Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw (born 26 April 1981), known by her stage name of Caro Emerald, is a Dutch pop and jazz singer. She debuted on 6 July 2009 with her single "Back It Up". Her 2009 single "A Night Like This" reached the number 1 position in the Netherlands. Emerald is often praised for her outstanding live performances.

Her debut album, Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor, was written and produced primarily by David Schreurs, Vincent Degiorgio, Jan van Wieringen and Emerald. In August 2010, the album spent its 30th week at number one on the country's albums chart, beating the previous record set by Michael Jackson's "Thriller" by one week.[1] The album became the biggest selling album of 2010 in the Netherlands and has sold over 300,000 copies so far. In total more than a million copies have been sold. On 3 October 2010, Emerald was awarded the Dutch music prize "Edison Award" for Best Female Artist.[2]

In April 2013, her second studio album The Shocking Miss Emerald went to No. 1 in the UK album chart, becoming her first UK No. 1 album.[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]


In early 2007 Dutch producer Jan van Wieringen invited van der Leeuw to sing the vocal on a demo track he was co-producing with songwriter and producer 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 van Wieringen and Robin Veldman. Caro's jazzy vocal style was considered a "perfect match" for the new song.[7]

The song demo was pitched to various publishers and labels but although the reaction was positive they struggled to imagine it suiting any particular artist and didn't believe it had a strong enough 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 quickly realised their sound had potential, so they set about working on a full studio album, presenting Emerald as the star. Writing began in the summer of 2008 using "Back It Up"'s mix of 40's–50's 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 produce the backing tracks at home and then get together with top line writer and lyricist Degiorgio to write the song. Van der Leeuw would occasionally pitch in her own melody and lyrical ideas, and Van Wieringen co-created the tracks for "The Other Woman" and "Dr Wanna Do".[7]

2010–12: Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor[edit]

Emerald singing in the Rotterdam, Netherlands on 9 July 2010

After the record labels they approached failed to sign Emerald, Schreurs, van Wieringen and van der Leeuw set up their own label Grandmono, co owned by van Wieringen and Caroline van der Leeuw, and released "Back It Up" as the first single on 6 July 2009. It was an instant hit instant 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" was the most played song on Dutch radio station 3FM in 2009.[8] Follow up A Night Like This became a No. 1 hit in The Netherlands.

Their first album Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor was completed in December 2009, released on 29 January 2010 and immediately occupied the number 1 position of the Dutch Album Top 100 charts. On 20 August 2010, the album had been number 1 for 27 weeks, an all-time record, beating Michael Jackson's Thriller, which spent 26 weeks at number one in 1983.[1] 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 later 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.

The cinematic and upbeat sound of the album has resulted in frequent use of the songs in TV series and advertising campaigns around the world. "A Night Like This" featured in the trailer campaign of NBC series The Playboy Club, a brand campaign by Martini, the trailer of 2 Days in New York (starring Chris Rock and Julie Delpy), and The Secret Circle, among others. "Back it Up" featured in a TV ad for Wind Mobile. "That Man" featured 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.

On 15 January 2011, Emerald won the Popprijs 2010 for best Dutch pop act of 2010.[11] Also 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 (1x platinum with sales exceeding 360,000, 8 weeks top 10 peaking at #4), Germany (1x platinum with sales exceeding 280,000, peaking at No. 5 and Platinum single for "A Night Like This" with sales exceeding 340,000), Poland (6x platinum), Italy (Gold Single for "Back it Up"), and Austria (#1 with "A Night Like This") In the UK, all 6 singles and even the entire album were A-listed by BBC Radio 2. Over 1,200,000 albums have been sold in Europe.[12] Due to its exceptional success, the album was included in an episode of the Dutch version of Classic Albums in April 2012.[13] 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.[14] On New Year's Eve 2011/2012 Emerald appeared on BBC Two television on Jools Holland's Hootenanny show backed by the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.

In early 2012, Emerald won two German awards: a Goldene Kamera for Best Musik International and an Echo Award for Best Newcomer International, beating out other Echo nominees who included Lana Del Rey, Gotye, and LMFAO. In August 2012, Emerald's label Grandmono announced that it will release her debut album independently in the USA. This will mean a big investment of 200,000 euros. To make the independent release possible they teamed up with several American companies:[12]

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, her second studio album The Shocking Miss Emerald was released. It went to No. 1 in the UK album chart, becoming Emerald's 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: Upcoming third studio album[edit]

On 19 February 2015, Emerald announced that she was working on her third studio album.[citation needed] The first single from the album is "Quicksand", which was released on 24 April 2015 in the Benelux[citation needed] and on 27 April 2015 in the UK.[16]

Her single "Coming Back as a Man" is the theme song for the Japanese TV talk show Matsuko and Matsuko starring transvestite talent and 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, so they are able to have a better and fuller education.

In July 2016, Emerald and her 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]

Album title Album details Peak chart positions[24] Certifications Sales
Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor 1 3 23 79 5 14 39 3 10 4
  • UK: 300,000
  • NL: 300,000
  • POL: 60,000
The Shocking Miss Emerald
  • Release date: 3 May 2013
  • Label: Grandmono Records
  • Genre: Jazz; pop; tango
1 69 3 31 166 3 21 71 17 3 1
  • UK: 100,000
  • NL: 50,000
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released.

Live albums[edit]

Album title Album details Peak chart positions[24]
Live at the Heineken Music Hall
(With the Grandmono Orchestra)
  • Release date: 20 May 2011
  • Label: Grandmono Records
  • Genre: Jazz; pop
51 65 34


Year Song Peak chart positions[24] Certifications Album
2009 "Back It Up" 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
2010 "That Man" 29 99 84
"Stuck" 28 18 41 42 48
2011 "Riviera Life" 70 25
"You're All I Want For Christmas"
(featuring Brook Benton)
26 Non-album single
2013 "Tangled Up" 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
2014 "Ne Me Quitte Pas" Non-album single
"Coming Back As a Man" The Shocking Miss Emerald
2015 "Quicksand" 103
"—" 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. 
  11. ^ "Caro Emerald wint Popprijs 2010". 15 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  12. ^ a b "Caro Emerald maakt zelfstandige oversteek naar VS". 22 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  13. ^ "Classic Albums: Caro Emerald". 14 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  14. ^ "Kerstduet Caro Emerald en Brook Benton – Show – Algemeen – Nieuws – bndestem". 17 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  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. 
  20. ^ "Winnaars Buma Harpen Gala 2011 bekend!". Buma Cultuur (in Dutch). 8 October 2010. 
  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. 
  24. ^ a b c "Caro Emerald – Music Charts". 
  25. ^ a b "Discografie Caro Emerald". Hung Medien. 
  26. ^ a b c "Discographie Caro Emerald". Hung Medien. 
  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. 
  31. ^ "FIMI - Pagina non trovata - FIMI". Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  32. ^ "Discography Caro Emerald". Hung Medien. 
  33. ^ a b "Caro Emerald". Hung Medien. 
  34. ^ a b Peak positions in the United Kingdom:
  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. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ "Search for: Caro Emerald – Singles". Hung Medien. 
  43. ^ "Peak position A Night Like This in Poland". 17 November 2010. 
  44. ^ "Peak position Back It Up and Stuck in Slovakia". 17 November 2010. 
  45. ^ "Peak position A Night Like This in Romanian Radio Airplay Chart". 31 December 2010. 
  46. ^ Rádio Top 100 Oficiální
  47. ^ Gaon Singles Chart
  48. ^ a b c d "CERTIFICAZIONI DOWNLOAD FIMI – Week 21- Ending: 29/05/2011" (PDF) (in Italian). Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  49. ^ "Italian single certifications – Caro Emerald – Stuck" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 26 August 2014.  Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Caro Emerald in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
  50. ^ "Certificazioni - Archivio" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved 8 July 2013.  Select Online, Week 26, Year 2013, then press Avvia la ricerca.

External links[edit]