Paul de LeeuwView in iTunes
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Paul de Leeuw is a remarkably popular Dutch entertainer who experienced success as a pop singer, television show host, and film actor. Born March 26, 1962, in Rotterdam, he rose to fame in the late '80s as a television show host with a sharp satirical edge. His success hosting shows for the television station VARA led to a recording contract with the company's record label, VARAgram. He made his full-length album debut in 1991 with Voor U, Majesteit!, which spawned the Top 20 hit single "Giddy Up Go." His second album, Van U Wil Ik Zingen (1992), spawned the chart-topping single "Gebabbel," a duet with Willeke Alberti that solidified the status of de Leeuw as not only a television celebrity but also a full-fledged pop star. The popularity of "Gebabbel" propelled Van U Wil Ik Zingen into the Top Five of the Dutch albums chart, and Voor U, Majesteit! reentered the charts as well, reaching number 14. Successive albums Plugged (1993) and ParaCDmol (1994) were both chart-toppers, spawning the Top Five hit "Blijf Bij Mij" and the number one smash "Ik Wil Niet Dat Je Liegt," respectively. Each of the albums de Leeuw released during the remainder of the decade -- In Heel Europa Was Er Niemand Zoals Jij (1995), Filmpje (1996), Encore (1996), Lief (1997), and Stille Liedjes (1999) -- reached the Top Ten of the Dutch albums chart, if not the Top Five or, in the case of Encore, number one. Moreover, a few of the numerous singles he released during the remainder of the decade were Top Ten smash hits, namely "Voorbij" (1994), "'K Heb Je Lief" (1997), and "Je Bent M'n Maatje" (1999). After the turn of the century, de Leeuw remained active as a recording artist, and his popularity remained steady. Some of his most popular albums of this era include Zingen Terwijl U Wacht (2001), Duizel Mij (2005), Mooi! Weer Een CD! (2006), Symphonica in Rosso (2007), and Het Wordt Winter! (2008), all of which reached the Top Ten. The double-disc in-concert recording Symphonica in Rosso was especially popular, topping the Dutch albums chart for six weeks straight. ~ Jason Birchmeier