Sam Bettens

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Sam Bettens
Sam Bettens in 2016
Sam Bettens in 2016
Background information
Born (1972-09-23) 23 September 1972 (age 48)
Kapellen, Belgium
Occupation(s)Singer
Instrumentsvocals, guitar, bass guitar, piano
Years active1993–present
Associated actsK's Choice

Sam Bettens (born on 23 September 1972) is a Belgian musician and the lead singer of the Belgian band K's Choice. He is known for his enigmatic, husky voice.[citation needed]

In May 2019, he came out as a transgender man.[1]

Career[edit]

K's Choice[edit]

In the mid-1990s, Bettens formed the band K's Choice with his brother Gert. They are the two best-known faces of the band. The band is popular in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, and has toured in the U.S. with The Verve Pipe, Tonic, Alanis Morissette and the Indigo Girls, as well as on their own.

Solo[edit]

Bettens' first solo effort was the five-track EP, Go, released 31 May 2004. Four of the five songs from Go were included on his first full-length solo album, Scream, released in Europe on 14 March 2005, and in the USA on 23 August 2005.

In March 2007, Bettens released a three-track digital-only EP exclusively through online music label [Fuzz (music company)/]. His second full-length album, Shine, including new mixes of the tracks from the Fuzz EP, was released in 2007. It was produced by Brad Wood. The full CD was distributed for free with 13 October edition of the Flemish newspaper De Morgen in Belgium, which sold 180,000 copies. (Normally the paper sells 95,000 copies.)[2]

In 2007, Bettens won an EBBA Award. Every year, the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) recognize the success of ten emerging artists or groups who reached audiences outside their own countries with their first internationally released album in the past year.

In late 2008, Bettens released the album Never Say Goodbye, consisting of recordings of live performances of K's Choice and solo songs, covers, and new songs which had been played during previous tours. The album was only available at concerts and from his online shop.[3]

There were plans to license the single "Come Over Here" from his LP Scream for episode 409 of the American series The L Word. However, the plans fell through due to problems involving the song's co-writer and record label. The song also appears on the premier Music With a Twist compilation (Sony).

After having played Michigan Womyn's Music Festival in 2006 solo, Bettens organized a band which, at the time, was identified as all-female, for a performance there in 2007.

In June 2012, he worked as a firefighter for a year in the Johnson City Fire Department.[4][5]

Bettens has provided vocals for movie soundtracks, including Underworld, Wild Things, Zus and Zo, and Leef!

Rex Rebel[edit]

In 2018, Sam began a new adventure with fellow musicians Reinout Swinnen (K's Choice's keyboardist) and Wim Van der Westenthe (K's Choice's drummer) and formed the electronic music group Rex Rebel. The band released its debut single, "Big Shot", on 21 October 2019, and full-length debut album, Run, on 28 February 2020.

Personal life[edit]

On 17 May 2019 Bettens came out to the public as a transgender man and had his name changed to Sam.[1][6] Sam started transitioning in 2019, and was formerly known as Sarah Bettens before he transitioned.[1] In a YouTube video, Bettens said, "being transgender is not a choice. I always have been, I just didn't know it until now." He said he is taking hormone replacement therapy and noted that this would affect his voice and singing, and that he was working with a voice coach.[7] Before coming out as trans, there was a period where he publicly identified as a lesbian (starting in May 2002), and he has had a large lesbian fanbase since the beginning of his career with K's Choice in the 90s.[8][9]

Sam Bettens was born in Kapellen, Belgium. He currently lives in Palm Desert, California, having moved there from Johnson City, Tennessee in 2017, with his partner, two step-children, and two adopted children.[5]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • 2002 "Someone to Say Hi To"
  • 2002 "You Always Know Your Home"
  • 2004 "Fine"
  • 2005 "Not Insane"
  • 2005 "Stay"
  • 2005 "Leef"
  • 2006 "Come Over Here"
  • 2006 "I Need a Woman"
  • 2007 "Daddy's Gun"
  • 2007 "I Can't Get Out"

Duets[edit]

Video[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sarah Bettens (K's Choice) voortaan door het leven als man". nos.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  2. ^ "De Morgen erg vlot verkocht met cd" (in Dutch). 13 October 2007. Archived from the original on 14 October 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Jax Junk: Never Say Goodbye". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  4. ^ Linda Vance Gordon (June 2012). "Johnson City Fire Department Welcomes Rookie Firefighters" (PDF). The Johnson City News and Neighbor Online. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  5. ^ a b "International rock star calls Johnson City home". web.archive.org. 9 May 2013. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  6. ^ gjs, jvde. "Sarah Bettens gaat voortaan door het leven als Sam: "Al één maand bezig met medicatie"". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  7. ^ Sam Bettens (17 May 2019). "SARAH BETTENS HAS BIG NEWS". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  8. ^ "FaceCulture interview (largely DEAD LINK – video interview no longer exists)". Archived from the original on 6 January 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2005.
  9. ^ "AfterEllen.com interview". Archived from the original on 2 December 2005. Retrieved 12 December 2005.

External links[edit]