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Flemish-Spanish pop idol.


"Hello World"
33,9 sec. - 66 Kb.

"Honey Bee"
31,6 sec. - 62 Kb.

"This Crazy Feeling"
36,2 sec. - 71 Kb.

song : Belle Perez, Patrick Renier, Jim Soulier
Producer : Patrick Renier & Jim Soulier
Year : 2000
Record co. : Antler-Subway


Belle Perez was born as Maribel Perez on January 29, 1976, in a Spanish immigrant family in Neerpelt (in the neighbourhood of the Dutch Philips-factories). She discovered her singing talent during her flamenco & dancing-lessons, which she had been taking from the age of 5.

After she started working as a secretary in a Dutch crane-rental company, her goal remained to become a singer, and to attain that goal she participated in all the soundmix-contests she could enter. At one of these talent-contests in 1997, she sang "That's what it takes" and was discovered there by Patrick Renier. He teamed her up with songwriter/producer Jim Soulier (the two are known as Pat & Jim) and gave her the artistname Belle Perez.


Pat & Jim did see the talent in Belle, but initially didn't quite know which direction to head her in. First they tried it with dance ("Me&You"), then they directed her towards a Céline Dion-ish song "Don't give up on love".
A third shot at success was the happy popsong "Hello world", the first one that Belle herself wrote the lyrics for, which they entered in the Flemish preselections for the Eurovision songcontest in 1999. As they said to magazine Humo in 2000 "when we had recorded "Hello World", we still weren't sure where we could lead Belle to, but when we heard we were among the selected for Eurosong, we started believing for the first time that we had finally found the right style for her". In these preselections Belle Perez had to admit defeat to both Fé (Wendy Fierce) and Vanessa Chinitor's "Like The Wind" (who got on to win the final). Roland Beelen, the big boss of Antler/Subway about this "For me 'Hello World' was the best song in 'Eurosong'. Belle had a bit of nerves when she performed, it was her very first live-appearance on tv. That's why the jury overlooked the quality of the song."

"Hello World" did get released as a single by Antler-Subway, and became a real summer-hit in Flanders (behind that other flunked Eurosong-hit "Heyah Mama" by K3 - but the song did get a summerhit-trophy as "best production"). There was a feel-good videoclip shot for the song, with not much economies (on the contrary, with a production cost of about 3 million it was the most expensive video for a Flemish artist at the time).


Because of this Flemish interest, Belle Perez got picked up by EMI and was made one of their "international priorities" (read: potential big bucks). Especially in the States there was quite a bit of enthusiasm for the product, and she got to do a 3-week promo tour with Priority Records to a series of American radio-stations and cities, in the slipstream of Lou Bega (a little bit of Monica ...). In the end, the song didn't exactly manage to force a breakthrough in the charts there. Still, the song did get used for a number of soundtracks such as "Down to You" or the tv-series "Felicity". And in the rest of the world, things faired much better. Especially in Spain and Italy, she was a commercial success, and in the Latin-American countries, Belle Perez quickly rose to be a (pop)star.

That not everybody was as enthusiastic about her uncomplicated pop, can clearly be seen from this review of the single in the British New Musical Express : "Belle Perez makes Billie and Britney sound like wild inner-city kids teetering on the edge of heroin addiction. Lobotomised cheeriness aside, and with brilliant synchronicity, the Belgian popstrel does offer ... some very sage advice. "Seize the day", she urges, ... "Wear a big happy smile on your face". Advice that'll also be very handy when she finds herself flipping burgers in the Ghent branch of McDonald's."


In quick tempo, the trio also put together an album at the beginning of 2000, which got released under the same title as the hit single. This CD was first released in Spain and Italy, but from September 2000 onwards she focused on Flanders again. While internationally only "Hello World" (and "Hola Mundo") broke trough, she had quickly become one of the top acts in the commercial pop genre here. This was proven by a series of hits, with the most prominent the successor to "Hello World", the Britney Spears-clone "Honey Bee", which faired very well in the Belgian popcharts.

The girl from Limburg also did get the chance from Kanaal 2 to present an internet-tv-show named Channel E ("the first Flemish television show made especially for the internet").
At the beginning of 2001, she received a ZAMU-award in the category "popular" (in front of K3, Helmut Lotti and Gunther Neefs). On the gala "Kom op tegen Kanker" she surprised everyone with a well-sung versoin of the Pretenders-song "2000 Miles". In June 2001 the trio presented their first new single not taken from the debut album: "Planet of Love". In November it was the turn for another single, "Get Up and Boogie".

Buy CD's of this artist at proxis

Albums :
- Hello World (Antler, 2000)
- Me & You (Pat & Jim) (1998)
- Don't Give Up on love (1999)
- Hello World (1999)
- Honey Bee (2000)
- This Crazy Feeling (2000)
- Kiss & Make Up (2001)
- Planet of Love (2001)
- Get Up and Boogie (2001)

Websites :
-, her showbizzsite
-, site for the American launch of Hello World (abandoned after that)
-, the site for the german market
- King International, haar Belgische management.
- Belle Perez-fansite
- Interview with the British Fusion.
- pop-question in Denmark.
- Lyrics to the songs on the Hello World album
- Channel E, presented by Belle

Forum :
- Read the messages about Belle Perez
- Add your message, question, cd- or concertreview ... about Belle Perez in the Forum


    Belle Perez

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Dirk Houbrechts stopped working at The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives (you can read his personal statement here). The website is now entrusted to the Flanders Music Centre ( Contact:

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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