Waylon (singer)

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For other people named Waylon, see Waylon.
Waylon in 2014
Waylon in 2014
Background information
Birth nameWillem Bijkerk
Born (1980-04-20) 20 April 1980 (age 40)
Apeldoorn, Netherlands
InstrumentsVocals, drums, guitar, piano
Years active1997–present
Associated actsThe Common Linnets, Santa Rosa, Millstreet

Willem Bijkerk (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʋɪləm ˈbɛikɛrk]; born 20 April 1980), known professionally as Waylon, is a Dutch singer from Apeldoorn. His stage name came from the name of his idol Waylon Jennings. He represented the Netherlands with Ilse DeLange as The Common Linnets at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, finishing in second place in the final.[1] He performed in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 and finished in 18th place.


Waylon started his career in 1995 singing in the television program Telekids where he sang the chorus of the song "Harry Stallion."[2] Since childhood he was inspired by country music and he played the drums with the band West Virginian Railroad.[3] He was signed in 1997 by EMI and went to Nashville to record an album. The album was never completed.

In 2001, he lived and worked for a year in the United States where he also performed with his idol, Waylon Jennings. After Jennings died in 2002, Waylon returned to the Netherlands. Waylon's talent was further developed with Lisa Boray. After returning from the United States, he joined the cover band Santa Rosa. He also sang in the band Millstreet.[3] In 2005, Waylon and Rachel Kramer performed as the duo Rachel & Waylon in the preliminary rounds of the National Song Contest with the song "Leven als een beest."


Waylon took part in the first season of Holland's Got Talent on SBS 6 in 2008. He auditioned with the song "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" by James Brown. He received positive feedback from jurors Henkjan Smits and Patricia Paay.[4] Waylon reached the final and finished second.

A year later, Universal Music signed Waylon as the first Dutchman to the Motown label.[5] His first single, "Wicked Way", was released on August 7, 2009, as a preview of the album Wicked Ways, released later that month.[5] "Wicked Way" reached the top 10 in the Dutch Top 40 charts.

In April 2010, Waylon won his first major music award, a 3FM Award for "Best Newcomer". A month later he received in a gold record for his debut album on the television program De Wereld Draait Door. In June 2010, Waylon was one of the winners of the TMF Awards, winning the Borsato Award for new talent. The prize was awarded to him by the namesake, Marco Borsato, at the TMF Awards Festival in Enschede.

Waylon released "The Escapist" in October 2011 as the first single from his second album, After All, which was released on November 3, 2011. This was followed by the singles "Lose It" and "Lucky Night". Waylon was voted best singer in the April 2012 3FM Awards.

Eurovision Song Contest 2014[edit]

Together with singer Ilse Delange, Waylon was the Dutch entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen. The two formed the duo The Common Linnets and sang the country/bluegrass song "Calm After the Storm".[6] They won second place with a total of 238 points behind Conchita Wurst from Austria, who scored 290 points.[1]

Waylon last performed with Delange at a concert on 21 June 2014 in Enschede, following which he left The Common Linnets.[7][8]

Heaven After Midnight[edit]

Waylon's third studio album, Heaven After Midnight, was released in September 2014 and reached #1 in the Dutch iTunes charts as well as in the Dutch Album Top 100 in the week of its release.[9] He worked in Nashville and Hollywood on the album with, among others, Bruce Gaitsch, who previously wrote for Chicago and Madonna.[10]


In 2016, Waylon made a few appearances on talk show RTL Late Night; he lectured about the origins of pop-music and previewed tracks from his forthcoming album which came as a surprise. Seeds covered all styles and was led by the 70s-disco-tribute Our Song. He continued to explore his versatility by playing an annual concert-series in at the Rotterdam Ahoy in a joint venture with Radio Veronica's Top 1000 All Time Classics.

Eurovision Song Contest 2018[edit]

On 9 November 2017, it was announced Waylon will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 for the Netherlands. The choice of the song "Outlaw in 'Em" was announced on the 2nd of March 2018. The Eurovision Song Contest fans gave him the pet name ‘Walton’. He performed in the second semi-final on 10 May 2018 and qualified for the final on 12 May 2018. Waylon finished 18th place with 121 points. In June 2018, Waylon returned to RTL Late Night to perform Thanks But No Thanks, one of the other shortlisted songs, for the departing host Humberto Tan.

In 2019 Waylon returned as a professional in It Takes Two. He also hosted the second episode of DWDD Summerschool exploring the key-artists of Outlaw country. He continued to do so in a theatre-tour titled My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.


Late 2019, Waylon released his sixth album Human; early 2020, he announced that the fifth edition of his Ahoy concert-series will be devoted to Dutch(-language) pop classics.

Personal life[edit]

He married in 2002, fathered a son, Dylan, and divorced after three years of marriage. He has a daughter with YouTube star Bibi Breijman.[11]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions

Wicked Ways 3
After All
  • Released: 3 November 2011
  • Label: Entertainment-NL, Universal Music
  • Format: Digital download, CD
Heaven After Midnight
  • Released: September 2014
  • Label: Waymore Music, Warner Music
  • Format: Digital download, CD
  • Released: 18 November 2016
  • Label: Waymore Music, Warner Music
  • Format: Digital download, CD
The World Can Wait
  • Released: 13 April 2018
  • Label: Waymore Music, Warner Music
  • Format: Digital download, CD
1 107
  • Released: 29 November 2019
  • Label: Waymore Music, Warner Music
  • Format: Digital download, CD
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released.


Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Wicked Way" 2009 8 Wicked Ways
"Hey" 2010 43
"Happy Song" 46
"Nothing to Lose"
"The Escapist" 2011 27 After All
"Lose It" 2012 43
"Lucky Night"
"Grasping Song" 2014 42 Non-album single
"Giving Up Easy" Heaven After Midnight
"Love Drunk" 68
"Mis je zo graag" 2016 72 73 Non-album single
"Our Song" 66 Seeds
"Outlaw in 'Em" 2018 37 90 74 The World Can Wait
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released.


  1. ^ a b "Eurovision 2014 Results: Voting & Points". Eurovision World. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  2. ^ Roggeveen, Herman (19 October 2009). "Waylon was Harrie de Hengst uit Telekids". NLpop (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Waylon Biografie". NPO Radio 2 Soul & Jazz (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Waylon - It's A Man's World (James Brown)". YouTube. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Nederlandse zanger tekent bij Motown". NU.nl (in Dutch). 23 July 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Ilse DeLange en Waylon naar Eurovisie Songfestival". AD.nl. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  7. ^ Granger, Anthony (28 May 2014). "The Netherlands: Waylon Leaves The Common Linnets". Eurovoix. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  8. ^ Knoops, Roy (29 May 2014). "ESC Today". The Netherlands: Waylon Decides To Fly Free. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Waylon - Heaven After Midnight". Dutch Charts. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Waylon schreef nieuw album in tien dagen". NU.nl. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  11. ^ Cortie, Patricia (8 May 2010). "Waylon verliet vrouw voor droom". De Telegraaf (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  12. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discografie Waylon". Dutch Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
  13. ^ a b "Discografie Waylon". Ultratop. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Chart Top 100: 18 May 2018 – 24 May 2018". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 May 2018.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
with "Birds"
Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest
(as part of The Common Linnets)
Succeeded by
Trijntje Oosterhuis
with "Walk Along"
Preceded by
with "Lights and Shadows"
Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Duncan Laurence
with "Arcade"