Kate Ryan Biography
Born in a small village in Belgium to a musical family, she entertained everyone with her impressions of Madonna, complete with red Spanish La Isla Bonita dress lovingly made in miniature by her grandmother. Everyone in her family played an instrument, and by age eight Kate had both the piano and the guitar mastered and at this time she realized she was able to play almost anything she heard on the radio almost immediately.
It was always Kate’s dream to become a singer, and she was frequently found armed with a guitar, singing in bars, cafes, and clubs. It was at one such gig, when she was just 16 that a manager approached her wanting her to record in the studio. She consequently became a member of a pop group Melt, where she performed soft rock and pop, something that she absolutely loved. Unfortunately, two years of composing and recording went by and still nothing was released commercially.
Her initial solo singles stormed the charts, with her cover of Mylene Farmer’s Desenchantee’ sitting on the top spot for five weeks and going double platinum in Belgium. Aside from its success at home ‘Desenchantee was a true international success, reaching the following peak positions in national singles charts across Europe: #2 in Germany (Gold), #3 in Austria, #3 in Norway, #4 in Holland, #4 in Sweden, #7 in Spain, #11 in Switzerland, #11 in Denmark, #12 in France, #12 in Portugal and #9 in the European Top 100 singles.
Kate’s debut album ‘Different’ went on to sell more than 250,000 copies in Europe alone and generated 2 further international hits with ‘Libertine’ (another cover of Mylene Farmer) and ‘Scream For More/Mon Coeur resiste Encore. Now Kate and her team are amongst Belgium’s most respected dance singer- songwriters.
Indeed, an unrelenting mix of highs and lows has touched Kate’s life, most visibly in 2001. In November, at the end of a breakthrough year and top chart success, her mother, whom Kate describes as her biggest fan, tragically lost her battle with cancer. Though heartbreaking for Kate, she remains a pillar of professionalism, and the thoroughly upbeat, bubbly and down to earth girl that she has always been. “My mum always believed in me,” says Kate. “She always supported me in my dream of becoming a singer.”
Kate is recognized all the time in Belgium but seems unfazed by the attention. “Its part of the job, of course. People like to come up and say ‘Can I have an autograph?' and 'Aren’t you that singer?’ They’re always quite shy, and I really have respect for them. That’s one of the reasons I love doing this so much, the respect of the fans is so special to me”
Her new album ‘Stronger’ indicates a new maturity and confidence, both musically and professionally. Kate used the new tracks as an opportunity to explore many different influences that inspire her. There are various styles: dance/pop and a little funk, as well as two ballads. ‘Stronger’ even includes ‘The Promise You Made,’ Kate’s own take on the 1986 hit from US pop act Cock Robin. Her first single from the album, ‘Only If I,’ debuted at #13 on the Billboard Dance Singles Chart in January 2005.
As for the future, Kate is optimistic about her chosen path. “Id like to keep having success with my music, keep traveling, performing, composing and recording. I’d also like to stay home with my roots, playing smaller gigs in intimate venues.”