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Ilse Annoeska de Lange was born on May 13th, 1977 in Almelo, Netherlands. She started her career at the age of 8 as a lip-synching artist, which won her several contests. DeLange drew greater attention after switching to a live repertoire in both regional and national talent shows in Hilversum - the Dutch city where most TV-programs are recorded. This helped her book some live-performances on national television. She formed a duo with guitarist Joop Liefland, who introduced her to country music.
In 1994 Ilse performed at the Dutch Country Music Awards. Despite positive reviews, nothing happened with her career. She did get in touch with representatives of Warner Music but it took several years of negotiation before Warner Music decided to offer Ilse a contract. In 1996 DeLange joined the popgroup Wij where the group released the single "De Oorlog Meegemaakt" (English: Experienced The War). However the single didn't chart the Dutch Top 40.
In 1998 while a member of the group Cash On Delivery, she traveled to Nashville, U.S. to record her debut album "World Of Hurt" with top producer Barry Beckett. She became well-known in the Netherlands because her album was recorded in the capital of country music. Her album received big success in her home country, selling 450,000 copies in total. In Holland, Ilse received a TMF Award and an Edison Award for her musical success in 1999. Unfortunately "World of Hurt" was not released in the States, despite some interest due to guest vocals from Vince Gill, and Ilse's cover of Beth Nielsen Chapman's song "World of Hurt", and Patty Larkin's song "Lonely Too".
In 1999 Ilse released a live album called: "Dear John". "Dear John" was a limited edition release, on which Ilse covered songs by singer/songwriter John Hiatt as a tribute. She went on a mini-tour in support of the album, which lasted several months during 1999. The album went platinum in the Netherlands with sales of 80,000 copies.
Rumors of a new album were heard in mid 2000. The first single "Livin' On Love" was released in October. November saw the release of her sophomore studio album "Livin' on Love", which was a musical departure from her debut, leaning more toward pop/rock. The country music scene wasn't as excited by this album. Although there was a good amount of promotion for the album, it couldn't compete with the success of World of Hurt, hitting its peak at #5. "Livin' on Love" still went platinum though.
With this album, Ilse gained even more State-side interest (although not released in the States) due to her covers of 2 songs by popular American singer/songwriters Buddy and Julie Miller (I Still Cry and Ride the Wind to Me), and other songs written by Patty Larkin, Jude Cole and Wayne Kirkpatrick. Alison Krauss also provided guest vocals.
In 2001 DeLange started her "Livin' On Love" Tour, performing in many theaters and concert halls throughout her home country. Meanwhile, Warner Music attempted to promote this release as her "breakthrough" release in the America. Although "World Of Hurt" was planned to be released in the States, the record labels in America thought the album was to old-fashioned to be released. Ilse set her hopes on the release of "Livin' On Love", but once again the album wasn't released for unknown reasons,. There were rumors that the American label didn't like the sound of the album. Due to the trouble she had in America, Ilse decided to break all cords with the States, and focus more on her career in the BeNeLux.
She won an Edison Award for best Dutch artist in 2000. Due to all the business problems the singer became physically exhausted. During a performance in Paradiso (Amsterdam), Ilse experienced vocal problems, and emotionally told the fans in the hall that she couldn't continue the performance. On doctors advice she took a few weeks rest. Several months later she performed at Parkpop.
In March 2002 DeLange and her partner Bart Vergoossen went to America for 9 months to work on a new album. During the recording sessions Ilse took a greater creative role in her music, including receiving song-writing credit for the entire album. In April 2003 she released "Clean Up", her third studio album. This album continued with the pop/rock sound she experimented with on "Livin' on Love". Her songwriting on "Clean Up" was autobiographical. Ilse was satisfied with the results and despite the new sound, it the album became a big success.
During this time DeLange donated a contribution to the charity foundation War Child. Together with Trijntje Oosterhuis and Jacqueline Govaert she performed "Because" during a "Friends of Warchild" concert.
In October Ilse released a compilation album called: "Here I Am - 1998/2003". The album went Platinum and contained DeLange's best work in a single release.
In the beginning of 2004 Warner Music dropped all Dutch artists, including Ilse, from their label, similar to what happened with the band Krezip. Shortly after this she received another Edison Award, this time for "Clean Up".
In April 2004 she collaborated on a single with Italian singer Zucchero. The song was called "Blue" and was a moderate hit in the Netherlands. There was no information about a new record deal, but Ilse stated that she was working on her future.
In the end of 2005, DeLange went on tour (without a new album) and every concert was sold out. Meanwhile in America she began working with top producer Patrick Leonard (known for his work with Madonna) on a new album called "The Great Escape". This album was released on June 16, 2006. The first single was the title track The Great Escape, and was released in May, peaking at #11 in the Dutch Top 40. A week after its release (debuting at #1) the album went Gold, and in August 2006 it went Platinum. In September her second single was released "The Lonely One" which peaked at #18. In October she received her second TMF Award.
Ilse was a special guest of the concerts Marco Borsato which took place in Arnhem. In December she performed a mini-tour, which sold out.
Her third single, "I Love You", was released in February 2007'. It peaked at #23. The song was included on the soundtrack for the Dutch movie adaptation of "Steel Magnolias" based on the movie with Julia Roberts. - Wikipedia