Studio 100 (2002–present)
|Website||Official website (Dutch)|
Marthe De Pillecyn
|Past members||Kathleen Aerts
K3 is a Belgian girl band with a Dutch repertoire, whose current line-up is composed of Hanne Verbruggen, Marthe De Pillecyn and Klaasje Meijer, mainly aimed at pre-adolescent children. The name of the group is derived from the names of the three original members: Karen Damen, Kristel Verbeke and Kathleen Aerts. Kathleen Aerts left the group in 2009. Josje Huisman was chosen as K3's new member on October 3, 2009. Their music is produced by production company Studio 100 and is written by Miguel Wiels, Alain Vande Putte and Peter Gillis. K3 was founded by Niels William.
Their signature is that the girls in the group all three mostly wear the same outfit. The band is mostly known as one of Europe's biggest acts and longest running girl band and they are famous for their poppy-happy songs and K3 dances.
- 1 Career
- 2 Members
- 3 Musicals
- 4 K3 Museum
- 5 Projects in other languages
- 6 Band members in non-K3 activities
- 7 Discography
- 8 Filmography
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Rise to fame (1998–2002)
The band K3 started by Niels William. Initially their goal was to be the Flemish version of the Spice Girls, and they had females in their twenties as their target audience, which is noticeable in their early song lyrics. Their first single, "Wat ik wil" (What I want), was not very successful.
In 1999 K3 participated in the live television shows to select 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 one spot of the Flemish Ultratop 50 chart for 25 weeks. Their next two singles also reached the number one position, resulting in an uninterrupted period of 32 weeks in which a K3 song was at the top of that chart. 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 like MTV and TMF. Niels William's new marketing concept was based on promotion via children and cartoon channels like Fox Kids.
Joining Studio 100 (2002–09)
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" (Doing Magic), "Verliefd" (So In love), "De 3 biggetjes" (The Three Little Piglets), "Oya lélé", "Hart verloren" (Heart lost), "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.
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's an overview of their career. Pieces include show outfits, interviews and props from the movies like the flying scooters from K3 en het magische medaillon (k3 and the magic mediallon), and their numerous golden and platinum records.
Line-up change (2009–10)
On Monday March 23, 2009, Kathleen, the blonde singer, 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 would then search for a replacement on television.
Belgian shownews-programme De Rode Loper reported that two celebrities were auditioning for the vacant spot but this appeared to be an April Fool's joke. Meanwhile, Kathleen has signed up for UNICEF ambassadorship and is likely to quit singing altogether.
The two remaining members of K3 kept searching for a new member. This time 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)
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 acompanianied by their fourth movie K3 Bengeltjes. In 2013 they released their album Loko Le and their fifth movie K3 Bengeltjes.
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 fulfil their dreams.
The new K3 (2015–present)
On March 18, 2015, it was announced that all current members would leave the group. K3's label has announced however that they'll look for new members in late 2015. 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 Marthe De Pillecyn, Hanne Verbuggen 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.
|Name||Date of birth||Place of birth|
|Klaasje Meijer||2 March 1995||Lutjegast, Netherlands|
|Marthe De Pillecyn||16 July 1996||Duffel, Belgium|
|Hanne Verbruggen||3 March 1994||Hamme, Belgium|
- Former members
|Name||Date of birth||Position|
|Kathleen Aerts||18 June 1978||Geel, Belgium|
|Karen Damen||28 October 1974||Wilrijk, Belgium|
|Josje Huisman||16 February 1986||Heusden, Netherlands|
|Kristel Verbeke||10 December 1975||Hamme, Belgium|
|Marthe De Pillecyn|
K3 performed in several musicals. In Doornroosje (Sleeping Beauty), during 2002, they played three good fairies and in De 3 biggetjes (The three piglets), during 2003. They played the eponymous three piglets, Knirrie (Verbeke), Knarrie (Damen) and Knorrie (Aerts) and reprised these roles in 2007 for a tour of both Belgium and the Netherlands.
In 2010 they came back with a new musical Alice In Wonderland (the first 3D-Musical in the whole world) this time with Josje Huisman, who had joined the group the previous year. The musical is one of the first live musicals to use 3D projections. The production toured Belgium and then The Netherlands in 2011.
On 10 June 2006 a party was held at Plopsaland to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Studio 100. At this occasion 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). The countless gold and platinum discs can be seen too.
Projects in other languages
After having sold K3 to Studio 100, the founder Niels William moved to South Africa in 2002 and started his own music studio there. In March 2007 he launched X4, a 4-girl group singing translations of K3-songs in Afrikaans and English. They released one album: Heyah Mama, which also featured the single of the same name.
In May 2007 Studio 100 launched a German version of K3: Wir 3. They do not only sing translated versions of K3 songs (starting off with Heyah Mama) they're also modelled after the originals (consisting of a redhead, a brunette and a blonde) .
Band members in non-K3 activities
From February till May 2008 Verbeke appeared in the musical Pinokkio as Nina de Ballerina, the title character's conscience.
In September 2007 Damen was a panel judge voting the Belgian entry for Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
The band members have occasionally, separately or collectively, taken part in the television program De Notenclub, which allowed them to sing a more grown-up repertoire. 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 that program. Another songwriter for K3, Alain Vande Putte, has also appeared as singer on that show.
Karen Damen is also a judge on 'Belgium's Got Talent'.
In 2014 Josje Huisman played the main character in the TV-series 'Fashion Planet'. She portrayed a young intern at a prestigious fashion magazine. The show was cancelled after one season.
- Studio albums
- Parels (1999)
- Alle kleuren (2000)
- Tele-Romeo (2001)
- Verliefd (2002)
- Oya lélé (2003)
- De wereld rond (2004)
- Kuma hé (2005)
- Ya ya yippee (2006)
- Kusjes (2007)
- MaMaSé! (2009)
- Eyo! (2011)
- Engeltjes (2012)
- Loko le (2013)
- 10.000 Luchtballonnen (2015)
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 (some magical, some more normal).
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 favourable reviews. In the film Dutch television celebrity Paul de Leeuw played the stark raving mad 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 went to the cinemas to see the threesome melt the spoilt princess' frozen heart.
The third theatrical film, K3 en de Kattenprins (K3 and the Catprince) had its Dutch premiere on December 20, 2007 and reached gold status (attendance in excess of 150,000 people) in two weeks time.
On December 12, 2012, a fourth theatrical K3 movie was released, K3 Bengeltjes (K3 Little Dangles), in Belgian and Dutch theaters. This will be the first movie without Kathleen, Josje's predecessor. The movie in connected to their sitcom, Hallo K3! (Hello K3!), and stars some of the same actors and characters.
On February 12, 2014, a fifth theatrical K3 movie was released K3 Dierenhotel (K3 Animalhotel), in Belgian and Dutch theaters. This is the second movie with Josje Huisman and also includes actors and characters from the sitcom.
Recordings of their musicals and concert shows are also released on DVD.
|Title||Translation||DVD release date||Remarks|
|Alle Kleuren||All colours||13-9-2001|
|Doornroosje, de musical||Sleeping Beauty, the musical||23-1-2003||First Musical|
|Toveren Tour||Magic tour||2-5-2003|
|De 3 biggetjes, de musical||The three piglets, the musical||30-10-2003||Second Musical|
|K3 in de Ardennen||K3 in the Ardennes||24-11-2003|
|K3 in Wonderland||K3 in Wonderland||16-2-2004|
|5 jaar K3||5 years of K3||10-3-2004|
|K3 en het Magische Medaillon||K3 and the magic medallion||27-1-2005||First Bigscreen Movie|
|De wereld rond||Around the world||9-5-2005|
|K3 in Ahoy||K3 in Ahoy||27-4-2006|
|K3 en het IJsprinsesje||K3 and the Little Ice Princess||16-11-2006||Second Bigscreen Movie|
|K3 in de sneeuw||K3 in the snow||10-01-2007|
|K3 Clipparade||K3 clip parade||08-04-2007|
|K3 Superfan Quiz Game||11-04-2007|
|K3 en het Heksenexamen||K3 and the Witch's exam||23-05-2007|
|K3 en de Kattenprins||K3 and the Catprince||09-04-2008||Third Bigscreen Movie|
|K3 en het Toverhart||K3 and the magic heart||12-11-2008|
|K2 terug K3||K2 back K3||10-02-2010||first DVD with Josje Huisman|
|K3 Show MaMaSé!||19-05-2010|
|Hallo K3!Volume 1||Hello K3, vol 1||2011||with 3 episodes|
|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|
- Cabenda, Pablo (2001-11-26). "Peuterpop". Voorkant (in Dutch) (de Volkskrant). p. 9.
- "K3 in was gegoten" (in Dutch). Telegraaf. 2007-06-25. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
- "K3 in was gegoten" (in Dutch). Algemeen Dagblad. 2007-07-04. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
- "Kathleen stapt uit K3" (in Dutch). De Standaard. 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- "Zangeressen van K3 geven stokje door" (in Dutch). NU.nl. 2015-03-18. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- "Kristel Verbeke manager nieuwe K3" (in Dutch). NU.nl. 2015-11-09. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- "X4 is Zuid-Afrikaanse versie van K3" (in Dutch). Studio 100. 2004-03-13. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
- "K3-variant moet Duitse kinderharten veroveren" (in Dutch). Telegraaf. 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
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