K3 (group)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from K3 (band))
Jump to navigation Jump to search
2016 K3 in Plopsa Coo.jpg
Background information
Years active1998–present
LabelsBMG (1999–2002)
Studio 100 (2002–present)
MembersJulia Boschman
Marthe De Pillecyn
Hanne Verbruggen
Past membersKathleen Aerts
Karen Damen
Josje Huisman
Klaasje Meijer
Kristel Verbeke

K3 is a Belgian-Dutch girl group with a Dutch-language repertoire primarily enjoyed by pre-and adolescent children. Formed in 1998 by Niels William, the musical formation has dealt with four line-up changes ever since, with the original members being Karen Damen, Kristel Verbeke and Kathleen Aerts. The group's name is derived from first letters of the three original members. The current line-up is composed of Hanne Verbruggen, Marthe De Pillecyn and Julia Boschman. Their signature style and iconocity relies in all three girls mostly wearing the same outfit, and in the fact that each girl's hair represents one color the Belgian flag. Throughout their career, K3 has built a space within Dutch and Belgian pop culture, especially in the 2000s and early 2010s decade.[1]

The rise to fame of K3 began with their running to represent Belgium in the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest with the single "Heyah Mama", eventually losing to Vanessa Chinitor's "Like the Wind". Despite receiving mixed reviews from the judges, the song peaked at two in Belgium (Ultratop 50 Singles) and at eighteen in The Netherlands. It was included in the debut album Parels (1999), with also met great commercial success in both countries. The band's rise to fame surprisingly came without any airplay from the regular music television channels like MTV and are directed towards kids and chose to market itself directly to children via cartoon television channels.[2] The group later signed with Bertelsmann Music Group and released the albums Alle Kleuren (2000) and Tele-Romeo (2001).

In 2002, K3 departed ways with BMG and signed family entertainment production company Studio 100, opting for a more children-orientated direction. From 2002 to 2009 K3 recorded six more albums, all of them peaking at number one both in the Netherlands and Belgium, had their own children's television series called De Wereld Van K3 (2003–13), toured the Benelux eleven times with a total attendance of 1,7 million, and had starred in three cinema movies: K3 en het Magische Medaillon (2004), K3 en het Ijsprinsesje (2006) and K3 en de Kattenprins (2007) that generated a $9,1 million revenue. Despite the outstanding success of the group, Kathleen Aerts stepped out of the formation in March 2009. She was replaced by Josje Huisman later that year after winning audition reality show K2 Zoekt K3.

The first single with Huisman as part of the group, "MaMaSé!", became a smash hit, peaking at number one for six consecutive weeks in The Netherlands and for seven weeks in Belgium. It listed in the top three of both countries' year-end charts. The album of the same name entered the year-end album chart in both countries in 2009, 2010 and 2011. With Huisman, K3 recorded five more albums, produced and starred in the first 3D-musical in the world, based in Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland, taped two more movies: K3 Bengeltjes (2012), which became the group's highest-grossing film with a $5,1 million revenue, and K3 Dierenhotel (2014), and had their own sitcom series Hallo K3! (2011–12), which lasted three seasons, and K3 Kan Het! (2015).[3]

On 18 March 2015 Damen, Verbeke and Huisman announced through a press conference that they were all leaving the group stating "since we started, we knew there would be a time which we would feel that it was the accurate moment to stop; well, that moment is now present". A second audition television show, K3 Zoekt K3, premiered in autumn to find the new K3 members. Hanne Verbruggen, Marthe De Pillecyn and Klaasje Meijer won the contest. Their first release, "10.000 Luchtballonnen" topped the charts in Belgium and The Netherlands. From 2015 to 2021, the group released six albums, starred in two more films: K3 Love Cruise (2017) and K3 Dans van de Farao (2020), had their own animated series De Avonturen van K3 (2016) and became television judges on seasons four and five of the Flemish version of The Voice Kids.[4] In 2021, Meijer left the group and was later replaced with Julia Boschman.[5]


K3 performance - Oostende - 2001
K3 performance - Hasselt - April 2006

Rise to fame (1998–2002)[edit]

The band K3 was started by Niels William. Initially, their intention was to be the Flemish version of the British all-female group "Spice Girls." Following the same formula K3 was composed of all females in their twenties, and like the Spice Girls, women in their twenties as their target audience. The original target is noticeable in their early song lyrics including their first single, "Wat ik wil" (What I want). This release was not very successful.

In 1999, K3 participated in live television shows that selected the Belgian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest with their song "Heyah Mama". The song was not well received by one of the judges, Marcel Vanthilt, who referred to the band members as "assorted meat products". Notwithstanding, "Heyah Mama" was released as a single and became the first big hit for the band, staying at the number two spot of the Flemish Ultratop 50 chart, charting 25 weeks. Their next two singles also earned the number one spot on the charts, resulting in an uninterrupted period of 32 weeks of K3 in the number one spot. About a year after becoming famous in Flanders, K3 also became famous in the Netherlands.

Their songs are written by Miguel Wiels, Alain Vande Putte and Peter Gillis. This trio previously collaborated as songwriters for Flemish singer Isabelle A.

K3 is noted for being the first pop act to break through to the top of the charts without receiving any airplay from the regular music television channels, such as MTV and TMF. Niels William's new marketing concept was based on promotion via children and cartoon channels such as Fox Kids.[2]

Joining Studio 100 (2002–09)[edit]

In 2002, Niels William sold the band to Studio 100, a Flemish television production company for Dutch and Belgian children's programs.

Songs like "Heyah Mama", "I love you baby", "Alle Kleuren" (All colours), "Blub, ik ben een vis!" (Blub, I'm a fish!), "Tele-Romeo", "Toveren" (Magic), "Verliefd" (In love), "De 3 biggetjes" (The Three Little Piglets), "Oya lélé", "Hart verloren" (Lost heart), "Liefdeskapitein" (Captain of Love), "Kuma He", "Ya Ya Yippee", "Dokter Dokter" (Doctor doctor) and "Kusjesdag" (Kisses Day) were hits for the band. K3 has released nine albums. Their eighth album Ya Ya Yippee sold more than 50,000 copies in pre-sales within the Benelux. The ninth album, Kusjes (Kisses), sold 20,000.

K3 has a children's television program called De wereld van K3 (K3's World). Originally, there were Dutch and Flemish versions, but only the Dutch version remains.

The band has released several DVD's with video clips, musicals, films and with specially recorded footage like K3 in de Ardennen (K3 in the Ardennes).

In 2007, a team from Madame Tussauds in London took measurements of the band members for wax statues.[6] K3 unveiled these wax statues at Madame Tussauds Amsterdam on 4 July 2007.[7]

On 10 May 2008, the band celebrated their 10-year anniversary with a new show 10 jaar K3 (10 years of K3). It was also celebrated in Plopsaland, a popular theme park for kids. They opened the K3 museum, in which there is an overview of their career. The museum's pieces include show outfits, interviews, and props from the movies, like the flying scooters from K3 en het magische medaillon (K3 and the magic medallion), and their numerous gold and platinum records.

Line-up change (2009–10)[edit]

On Monday 23 March 2009 Kathleen announced her departure at a press conference. "It was a tough decision, after all, I gave the best years of my life to K3. People change and life is constantly in motion; I'm 30 now and after ten years it's time to move on". She made her last two appearances with K3 in June at a Studio 100 showcase at the Rotterdam Ahoy. Karen and Kristel then searched for a replacement on television.[8]

Belgian news program De Rode Loper reported that two celebrities were auditioning for the vacant spot but this turned out to be an April Fool's joke. Meanwhile, Kathleen has signed up for UNICEF ambassadorship and appears to have quit singing altogether, aside from small TV appearances such as: contestant on the Belgian edition of Masked Singer.

The two remaining members of K3 kept searching for a new member through a talent show called 'K2 zoekt K3' ('K2 searching for K3'). In the final episode, the Dutch Josje Huisman was chosen as the newest member of K3.

Further success (2010–14)[edit]

In 2010, K3 shot new episodes for their kids-talkshow (this time with Josje) and also started their own sitcom called "Hello K3", in which they portray fictional versions of themselves living in the same building and trying to balance a normal life with being superstars. This creates comic situations reminiscent of the television series The Monkees and also Friends. The first season of sitcom aired on television in fall 2010. A new single with the same name was also released on 15 September, on the album Eyo!. Their sitcom was also renewed for a second season which premiered in the Netherlands and Belgium in September 2011. In 2012 they released their album Engeltjes (little angels) accompanied by their fourth movie K3 Bengeltjes. In 2013, they released their album Loko Le and their fifth movie K3 Dierenhotel (K3 Animalhotel).

In 2014 they also started a new unscripted TV-show, 'K3 kan het!' (K3 can do it!'), in which they travel through Belgium and the Netherlands to help children fulfill their dreams.

The new K3 (2015–2021)[edit]

On 18 March 2015 it was announced that all current members were leaving the group. K3's label has announced that they'll look for new members in late 2015.[9] A televised competition to determine who would become the new K3 started airing in the Netherlands and Belgium in August 2015. In November of that same year Hanne Verbruggen, Marthe De Pillecyn and Klaasje Meijer had been chosen as Karen, Kristel and Josje's successors (respectively) and would become the new K3.

Later it had also been revealed that Kristel Verbeke, one of the original members, would become their new manager.[10] In June 2017 Verbeke announced that she would quit her role of manager.[11]

An animated series based on the band was released in 2015.[12]

Search for new member (2021)[edit]

On 9 February 2021 member Klaasje announced her departure from K3. She will fulfill the 2021 group schedules up until the last quarter. The label, Studio 100, has announced a new member will be cast through a survival show similar to K2 zoekt K3 and K3 zoekt K3. For the first time, both sexes are qualified to join the group.[13][14]


Name Date of birth Place of birth
Marthe De Pillecyn (1996-07-16) 16 July 1996 (age 25) Duffel, Belgium
Hanne Verbruggen (1994-03-03) 3 March 1994 (age 28) Hamme,[citation needed] Belgium
Julia Boschman (2002-06-08) 8 June 2002 (age 19) Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands
Former members
Name Date of birth Place of birth
Kathleen Aerts (1978-06-18) 18 June 1978 (age 43) Geel, Belgium
Karen Damen (1974-10-28) 28 October 1974 (age 47) Wilrijk, Belgium
Josje Huisman (1986-02-16) 16 February 1986 (age 36) Heusden, Netherlands
Klaasje Meijer (1995-03-02) 2 March 1995 (age 27) Lutjegast, Netherlands
Kristel Verbeke (1975-12-10) 10 December 1975 (age 46) Hamme, Belgium


Member '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '11 '12 '13 '14 '15 '16 '17 '18 '19 '20 '21 '22
Kathleen Aerts
Karen Damen
Kristel Verbeke
Josje Huisman
Klaasje Meijer
Hanne Verbruggen
Marthe De Pillecyn
Julia Boschman


K3 has performed in several musicals. In Doornroosje (Sleeping Beauty), during 2002, they played three good fairies and in De 3 biggetjes (The Three Little Pigs) in 2003. They played the eponymous three pigs, Knirrie (Verbeke), Knarrie (Damen) and Knorrie (Aerts) and reprised these roles in 2007 for a tour of both Belgium and the Netherlands.

In 2011, they came back with a new musical, Alice In Wonderland with Josje Huisman, who had joined the group the previous year. The musical is the first live musical to use 3D projections. The production toured Belgium and the Netherlands in 2011.

K3 Museum[edit]

On 10 June 2006, a party was held at Plopsaland to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Studio 100. At the event, the band members opened the K3 Museum which provides an overview of their career. There are interviews, clothes, and props from the films to be seen, including the air scooters from the film K3 en het Magische Medaillon (K3 and the magic medallion). Their gold and platinum certifications can also be seen.

Projects in other languages[edit]

In 2002, K3 recorded English, French and German-language versions of their third album, Tele-Romeo.

After K3 founder Niels William sold the act to Studio 100 in 2002, he moved to South Africa and started his own music studio. In March 2007, he launched X4, a four-member girl group that sang translations of K3 songs in Afrikaans and English. This group released Heyah Mama, which featured a single of the same name.[15]

In May 2007, Studio 100 launched Wir 3, a German version of K3 which sang translated versions of K3 songs and emulated the original band's style by casting a redhead, a brunette, and a blonde (also German colors).[16]


In October 2017, Studio 100 launched My3, a Polish version of K3 with production group Tako Media and television broadcaster Polsat. Unlike the other versions, My3 has not covered any K3 songs; their four albums comprise 32 original songs and 13 covers of Polish hits. They debuted with the song "Mammaje".[17] The three performers from My3 host videoblogs on YouTube and the children's programme My3 (based on the Belgian programme Iedereen K3) which premiered on 11 October 2017 on TV Polsat.[18]

On 26 January 2018, My3 released their debut album with 12 songs previously shown on television and YouTube.[19] Their second album was released on 25 May 2018, with three original songs and seven covers of old Polish hits. [20] On 2 November 2018, My3 released their third album, which contained all-original songs honouring Poland; a deluxe extended version was released on 16 November with bonus Christmas songs.[21] On 31 May 2019, My3 released their fourth album, which consists of five original songs and five covers of Polish hits.[22] One of the covers is "Anyone I want to be" from Roksana Węgiel, the winner for Poland at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018. The album was promoted with the song "Różowe Okulary" recorded with participation of Anna Wyszkoni and her daughter Pola.

On 31 July 2018 confirmed the participation of the My3 team in Polish version the Dutch youth film "Misfit", which will be their acting debut. The film is expected to hit cinemas in Poland on 8 November.[23]

On 16 August 2019 My3 performed in Young Choice Awards concert (fourth day Sopot Top of The Top Festival) with young pop artist from Poland.[24]

In the fall of 2019, the My3 team focused more on online activity by publishing two feature films on YouTube - including a parody of the comedy "Home Alone" in which one of the members played the main role and at the same time.[25]

During the winter holidays in 2020, the My3 team twice organized in the Węgierska Górka for their fans the "My3Camp" camp, where children and teenagers could combine leisure with getting to know the band and having fun with it during a several-day stay.[26]

On 5 February 2020 My3 girls announced the end of the band's activities on May 1. Until then, the farewell tour of "Przyjaciółki na zawsze (Friends forever)" and a lot of surprises and memories on social media and YouTube will take place. A rather unexpected decision on the part of the girls to dissolve the band caused sadness and quite a stir in the comments under the farewell material posted by the trio of vocalists. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the "Przyjaciółki na zawsze" concert tour was postponed to September, as a result of which the band will be functioning until 1 October 2020.[27][28]

Band members in non-K3 activities[edit]

Aerts played Snow White in the musical Sneeuwwitje (Snow White) and also played the lead role in De kleine zeemeermin (The Little Mermaid).

From February to May 2008 Verbeke appeared in the musical Pinokkio as Nina de Ballerina, the title character's conscience.

Damen plays a PE teacher in television series Het Huis Anubis (The House of Anubis) for the Dutch Nickelodeon channel.

In September 2007, Damen was a judge on the panel for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

After quitting K3, Aerts has released several solo albums and singles.

The band members have occasionally, separately, or collectively, taken part in the television program De Notenclub, which allowed them to produce content for a more adult audience. Miguel Wiels, who is the co-author of most of the K3 songs, is one of the two regular piano players in the Flemish version of the programme. Another songwriter for K3, Alain Vande Putte, has also appeared as a singer on the show.

Karen Damen is also a judge on 'Belgium's Got Talent'.

In 2014, Josje Huisman played the main character of the TV-series "Fashion Planet," where she portrayed a young intern for a prestigious fashion magazine. The show was canceled after one season.

In 2018, former member Karen Damen played a role in a movie made by a popular Dutch YouTuber, Dylan Haegens.


Studio albums


The members of K3 have also starred in several theatrical films and TV specials. They usually portray fictional versions of themselves, having all kind of adventures.

In 2004, they released their first theatrical film: K3 en het Magische Medaillon (K3 and the magic medallion). The film premiered on 29 September 2004, and received favorable reviews. In the film, Dutch television celebrity Paul de Leeuw played the genie.

In 2006, the second theatrical film, K3 en het IJsprinsesje (K3 and the little ice princess), was released. In this fairy tale film Carry Tefsen played the witch at the pancake house, Peter Faber played the king and famous Belgian comedian Urbanus played the wizard. More than half a million people in Belgium and the Netherlands bought tickets.

The third theatrical film, K3 en de Kattenprins (K3 and the Catprince) had its Dutch premiere on 20 December 2007 and reached gold status (attendance in excess of 150,000 people) in two weeks' time.[citation needed]

On 12 December 2012 a fourth theatrical K3 movie, K3 Bengeltjes (K3 Little Dangles) was released in Belgium in the Netherlands. This was the first K3 movie without Kathleen, Josje's predecessor. The movie is connected to their sitcom, Hallo K3! (Hello K3!), and stars some of the same actors and characters.

On 12 February 2014 a fifth theatrical K3 movie, K3 Dierenhotel (K3 Animalhotel), was released in Belgium and the Netherlands. This is the second movie featuring Josje Huisman and also includes actors and characters from the sitcom.

Recordings of their musicals and concert shows are also available on DVD.

It was announced on 14 May 2020 that K3 will be filming a new feature film called "Dans van de Farao" [29](Dance of the Pharaoh).

Title Translation DVD release date Remarks
Alle Kleuren All colours 13 September 2001
Tele-Romeo 17 June 2002
Doornroosje, de musical Sleeping Beauty, the musical 23 January 2003 First Musical
Toveren Tour Magic tour 2 May 2003
De 3 biggetjes, de musical The three piglets, the musical 30 October 2003 Second Musical
K3 in de Ardennen K3 in the Ardennes 24 November 2003
K3 in Wonderland K3 in Wonderland 16 February 2004
5 jaar K3 5 years of K3 10 March 2004
K3 en het Magische Medaillon K3 and the magic medallion 27 January 2005 First Bigscreen Movie
De wereld rond Around the world 9 May 2005
K3 in Ahoy K3 in Ahoy 27 April 2006
K3 en het IJsprinsesje K3 and the Little Ice Princess 16 November 2006 Second Bigscreen Movie
K3 in de sneeuw K3 in the snow 10 January 2007
K3 Clipparade K3 clip parade 8 April 2007
K3 Superfan Quiz Game 11 April 2007
K3 en het Heksenexamen K3 and the Witch's exam 23 May 2007
K3 Karaoke 12 November 2007
K3 en de Kattenprins K3 and the Catprince 9 April 2008 Third Bigscreen Movie
K3 en het Toverhart K3 and the magic heart 12 November 2008
K2 terug K3 K2 back K3 10 February 2010 first DVD with Josje Huisman
K3 Show MaMaSé! 19 May 2010
Hallo K3!Volume 1 Hello K3, vol 1 2011 with 3 seasons
K3 en het wensspel! K3 and the wish game 2011 clips of old and new songs
Alice in Wonderland, de musical Alice in Wonderland, the musical 2011 Third Musical
K3 Bengeltjes K3 Little Dangles 2012 Fourth Bigscreen Movie
K3 Dierenhotel K3 Animalhotel 2014 Fifth Bigscreen Movie
K3 Love Cruise 20 April 2017
K3 Dans Van De Farao K3 Dance of the Pharaoh

See also[edit]

  • List of best-selling Belgian artists
  • X4 was the Afrikaner or South African version of K3 (2002–2005)
  • Wir 3 (en. us three) was the German version of K3. (2007–2010)
  • My3 (en. us three or we three) was the Polish version of K3. (2017–2020)


  1. ^ "K3: Ready to shine". Discover Benelux. 2016-02-01. Retrieved 2021-10-14.
  2. ^ a b Cabenda, Pablo (2001-11-26). "Peuterpop". Voorkant (in Dutch). de Volkskrant. p. 9.
  3. ^ "K3 Bengeltjes". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2021-10-14.
  4. ^ "'The Voice Kids' gaat van start met K3 als Jurylid!". studio100.com. Retrieved 2021-10-14.
  5. ^ "Everyone asks if I don't like K3 anymore". Netherlands News Live. 2021-02-19. Retrieved 2021-10-14.
  6. ^ "K3 in was gegoten" (in Dutch). Telegraaf. 2007-06-25. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
  7. ^ "K3 in was gegoten" (in Dutch). Algemeen Dagblad. 2007-07-04. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
  8. ^ "Kathleen stapt uit K3" (in Dutch). De Standaard. 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
  9. ^ "Zangeressen van K3 geven stokje door" (in Dutch). NU.nl. 2015-03-18. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  10. ^ "Kristel Verbeke manager nieuwe K3" (in Dutch). NU.nl. 2015-11-09. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  11. ^ Kristel Verbeke stopt als manager K3 nu.nl
  12. ^ "K3". Studio100animation.net. Retrieved 2020-04-25.
  13. ^ "Klaasje Meijer stapt uit K3: 'Dankbaar voor vijf prachtige jaren'". RTL Boulevard. February 9, 2021.
  14. ^ "Search for new K3 member to be followed from autumn at SBS6 | tellerreport.com". TellerReport.com. 2021-04-22.
  15. ^ "X4 is Zuid-Afrikaanse versie van K3" (in Dutch). Studio 100. 2004-03-13. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  16. ^ "K3-variant moet Duitse kinderharten veroveren" (in Dutch). Telegraaf. 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
  17. ^ "My3 – Polska kopia flamandzkiej grupy K3" (in Polish). Naszportal.nl. 2017-10-15. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
  18. ^ ""My3" od listopada w Polsacie. Nowy program dla dzieci i młodzieży" (in Polish). Media2. 2017-10-25. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  19. ^ "Debiutancki album My3 już w styczniu" (in Polish). Universal Music Polska. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  20. ^ "Drugi album My3" (in Polish). Empik. 2018-04-27. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  21. ^ "Trzeci album My3" (in Polish). Empik. 2018-10-02. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  22. ^ "Za3majMY radość" (in Polish). Empik. 2019-05-31. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  23. ^ "Kojarzycie tajemnicze M? Już wiemy o co chodzi!" (in Polish). YoungStars. 2019-05-31. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  24. ^ "Młodzi, zdolni i ogromnie popularni. Finałowy koncert Top Of The Top 2019" (in Polish). TVN24. 2019-08-16. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  25. ^ "Gefi sama w domu - parody movie "Home Alone"" (in Polish). My3. 2019-12-15. Retrieved 2019-12-15.
  26. ^ "Official site project My3Camp" (in Polish). My3. 2020-01-14. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  27. ^ "Ĺťegnamy Siä˜ Juĺť W Kwietniu!". YouTube. 2020-02-05. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2020-04-25.
  28. ^ "Koncerty My3 "Przyjaciółki na zawsze" przełożone na wrzesień 2020 r." (in Polish). My3. 2020-04-04. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  29. ^ "Hanne, Klaasje en Marthe krijgen nieuwe bioscoopfilm!". studio100.com.

Other sources[edit]

External links[edit]