Gordon Heuckeroth

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Gordon singing in 2007
Background information
Birth nameCornelis Willem Heuckeroth
Also known asGordon
Born (1968-07-06) 6 July 1968 (age 50)
OriginAmsterdam, Netherlands
GenresR&B, Pop music
Occupation(s)Singer, TV personality
Years active1991–present
LabelsCNR, EMI
Associated actsDe Toppers, Los Angeles The Voices

Cornelis Willem (Gordon) Heuckeroth (born 6 July 1968, Amsterdam) is a Dutch performer and radio and television personality, better known by his nickname Gordon. As a singer, he had his greatest hit with the single Kon ik maar even bij je zijn (If I could be with you for just a while), which was a number one hit in The Netherlands in 1991.[1]

Early life[edit]

Cornelis Willem Heuckeroth was born on 6 July 1968 in the north-area of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Before he became a professional performer, Gordon worked as a salesman on the streetmarket.

Career as a singer[edit]

Gordon with De Toppers

At first it looked like it was not possible for him to have a career in music. He was turned down at the Soundmixshow and came in third in the National Songfestival contest finals.[2]

In 1991 Gordon broke through with his third single. At first he sang only Dutch positive songs like Ik hou van jou (I love you) and Omdat ik zo van je hou (Because I love you so much), but later in the '90s his repertoire shifted to Dutch R&B.[citation needed] Gordon again participated in the national finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, finishing second after Esther Hart.

Gordon was very successful with Gerard Joling and Rene Froger in a series of concerts under the name De Toppers. What began as a guest performance of Joling and Gordon in a Rene Froger concert, turned into a successful series of concerts by these three singers. In 2005 the first two concerts were held at the Amsterdam Arena, with three more following in 2006. Tickets were sold out. In 2007 six more concerts were held, four of which had tickets completely covered by C1000,[3] a Dutch supermarket.

In 2008, Gerard Joling left De Toppers and was replaced by Jeroen van der Boom. De Toppers represented the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Moscow, Russia, but never made it to the final because they got little support and finished only seventeenth in their semifinal. In 2009, Gordon also left De Toppers. However, a few weeks later, Gordon rejoined De Toppers along with other founding member of De Toppers, Gerard Joling.

Career on radio and television[edit]

Gordon in a pink costume at the Amsterdam Gay Pride in 2008

Gordon is, besides being a singer and performer, also a radio and television personality – and openly bisexual. After a few stand ins on the Dutch radio station Radio 538 he got his own show on the station. Later he moved to the radio station Noordzee FM. On television, Gordon was the host of shows like Gordon's Late Nicht Show[4] (in this context nicht means queer) and Gordon's Life Style. Starting in August 2005, Gordon appeared on the television channel Tien, a channel set up by John de Mol. Together with his colleague Gerard Joling he did the show Joling & Gordon over de vloer,[5] where the two singers visited several very different locations, such as a pig farm, for three days. They were confronted with totally different lifestyles, and were asked to join in and work there for a couple of days. This show was mostly characterized by the laughter on just about anything by Gordon and Joling. The show was very popular, and scored high rankings. Gordon also appeared in the show Thuis and in Vijf tegen Vijf. Thuis was a based on The View, but was stopped after only two months, due to bad viewer rankings.[6]

In autumn 2007 Gordon started with his own show on the Dutch TV channel RTL 4 called Gillend naar huis (Screaming back home), in which he joins Dutch families during their foreign holidays. Gordon (over-)acts as the spoiled brat he loves to be, having trouble adapting to the lifestyle of the people he meets. The idea behind the show is that he is glad to get back home after all. He also joined the jury of Idols Netherlands in 2007, together with John Ewbank, Jerney Kaagman and Eric van Thijn. He now also has his own radio show, Gordon on air! which started on 3 November 2007 on Radio538.[7]

He will be hosting the New Year's Eve show for RTL4, the Oudejaarsloterij Singing Bee.[8]

Gordon has an estimated fortune of €8 million.[9]

Holland's Got Talent Racism Controversy[edit]

Gordon made multiple racially charged comments to contestant Xiao Wang on Holland's Got Talent in November 2013. Comments such as "Which number are you singing? Number 39 with rice?", "Surplise!", "He looks like a waiter from a Chinese restaurant", and "This is the best Chinese I've had in weeks, and it's not a takeaway,"[10][11][12][13] have been described as highly offensive to those of Asian heritage.[14] The incident challenged the Netherlands' supposed tolerant reputation on issues related to diversity, a reputation that has been frequently questioned and caused much discussion during the latter half of 2013.[15] A few days after the broadcast, the clip went viral on YouTube[16], with American, British, Australian and Chinese media pundits condemning Gordon for his remarks.

The Amsterdam Discrimination Hotline ("MDRA") issued a letter to the show asking for an explanation of Gordon's behavior, and states that while humor and exaggeration are generally acceptable on a public platform, "there is a line that can be crossed," and "the singer has the potential of influencing a large group."[17] On November 27, 2013, the hotline filed an official complaint with RTL Netherlands in regard to Gordon's on-air treatment of Xiao Wang.[18]

Gordon's initial responses revealed his belief that the jokes were acceptable and innocent, that he was not a racist and that he did not feel a need to apologise. Among his points of argument are that "the USA still accepts the Ku Klux Klan."[17] However, the controversy continued to hit news headlines and cause discussions in various forms. Chinese restaurants would offer a 39% discount on their #39 entrees on their menus. Performer Xiao Wang was quoted as saying that he "felt somewhat slighted" and "disliked the 'jokes'." Over time, Gordon reconsidered his position, and in January 2014, the NL Times reported Gordon as realising that his jokes were indeed hurtful, and having an understanding of why Wang did not appreciate being addressed in such a manner. While the NL Times made it clear Gordon is unhappy with how the world has reacted to his jokes, it is uncertain whether Gordon has actually apologised.[15][19]



  • Kon Ik Maar Even Bij Je Zijn (1992)
  • Alles Wat Ik Ben (1993)
  • Now Is The Time (1994)
  • Kon Ik Maar Even Bij Je Zijn (2 CD; 1995)
  • Je Bent Wie Je Bent Schatje (1995)
  • De Tijd Van Mijn Leven (1996)
  • Omdat Ik Zo Van Je Hou (1996)
  • Gordon & Re-Play (2002) (featuring Re-Play)


  1. ^ "Hit Parade". Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  2. ^ ESC History – Netherlands 1990
  3. ^ Press release of C1000 about the buying of the tickets for four concerts
  4. ^ "Gordon's Late Nicht Show". Archived from the original on 2007-10-23. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  5. ^ nl:Joling & Gordon Over De Vloer
  6. ^ Talpa takes Thuis down – article on the news website of RTL (Dutch)
  7. ^ Gordon on air! on the website of Radio538 Archived 2007-12-13 at the Wayback Machine (Dutch) – Retrieved on 2007-12-31
  8. ^ Gordon brings karaoke show on New Year's Eve
  9. ^ report on the list of the richest Dutch gays in the Netherlands Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine on gay.nl, retrieved 2007-12-31
  10. ^ YouTube: Xiao Wang verrast jury en publiek - HOLLAND'S GOT TALENT
  11. ^ ‘Which number are you singing, No. 39 with rice?’ Holland’s Got Talent judge cracks racist jokes at Chinese performer
  12. ^ Shockingly Racist Got Talent Judge Makes Howard Stern Look Tame Archived 2013-11-21 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ The Racist Talent Show Judge Who Makes Simon Cowell Look Good
  14. ^ The Banality of Televised Anti-Chinese Racism
  15. ^ a b Gordon: No More Chinese Jokes
  16. ^ YouTube: Holland's Got Talent judge Gordon makes racist jokes to Chinese contestant Xiao Wang.
  17. ^ a b No Apologies for Racist Slurs
  18. ^ "Dutch TV station asked to apologize after racism complaints on Chinese participant". Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  19. ^ Xiao Wang Responds To Gordon

External links[edit]