Esmée Denters

"Esmée" redirects here. For the registered charity in England, see Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. For other uses, see Esmé.
Esmée Denters

Denters in 2009
Background information
Birth name Esmée Denters
Born (1988-09-28) 28 September 1988
Arnhem, Netherlands
Genres Pop, R&B
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments keyboard
Years active 2006 – present
Associated acts Justin Timberlake, Honor Society, Chipmunk, Aggro Santos

Esmée Denters (born 28 September 1988) is a Dutch singer and YouTube celebrity. Having started promoting herself as a musician on the video-sharing website in 2006, she covered songs by many artists including Justin Timberlake and Natasha Bedingfield. By mid 2008, at age 19, she became one of the first music artists to exceed 100 million views on YouTube.[1] At the time that was more than 50 Cent's (91 million views) or Michael Jackson's (74 million views) YouTube channels. Only Britney Spears had more all-time total views: 181 million. Denters was then signed by Timberlake as the first artist to his label Tennman Records.[2] In May 2009, she released her debut studio album, Outta Here.

Early life

Denters was born in Arnhem, Gelderland. She is the daughter of a wealthy couple, Hank Denters and Fenny Boonstra. Her parents are divorced. She has an older sister, musical actress Daphne Denters. Denters lived in Westervoort next to Arnhem until she was fifteen, and then moved with her mother and sister to Oosterbeek, Gelderland. She graduated from high school in Arnhem in 2006 and subsequently attended the HAN University of Applied Sciences where she was working towards a Bachelor of Social Work until she dropped out in her freshman year in February 2007 to join Tennman Records.[3]


2006–07: Early career

On 25 August 2006, Denters made a YouTube channel. She posted several videos of herself singing covers of other pop stars' songs. Denters eventually opted for a contract with Tennman Records. Denters traveled to the U.S. to write songs and record in the studio. There were plans for a reality show around Denters in the United States, which followed up the release of her debut album. She also sang a song that was written by Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child. She then flew to Sweden for a few days to write songs and record.

2007–2010: Outta Here and collaborations

Denters performing live in October 2009

In 2008, Denters started her professional career after attracting the attention of Dutch media scouts and American pop singer Justin Timberlake. Timberlake went on to sign her as the first artist to his label Tennman Records.[2] Timberlake became the executive producer of her debut album Outta Here.

In April 2009, Denters confirmed on Dutch radio station Radio 538 that her debut album would be released in the Netherlands on 22 May 2009, also confirming that the album is a mix of Pop and R&B with both ballads, and uptempo tracks. Her debut single, also the title song of the album, was released in the Netherlands on 14 April 2009 and in the UK on 15 August. The album reached number five in the Netherlands and charted in Belgium, where it reached number 3 for five weeks on the Flemish Region Albums Chart.[4] The album was released in the UK on 11 January 2010 and features the previous 2008 charity duet with Timberlake, "Follow My Lead" as an additional bonus song.[5] The second single, "Admit It", only reached 28 in the Netherlands and 56 in the UK.

In autumn 2009, Denters went on tour with Honor Society. The album's third single "Love Dealer", featuring Justin Timberlake reached 12 and 68 in the Netherlands and UK respectively.

Denters also worked on several collaborations during this time. She performed on tour with artists Ne-Yo , Enrique Iglesias and N-Dubz. She lent her vocals to the German band Stanfour who featured Denters on their single "Life Without You", released on 25 May 2010.[6] The music video for the single was postponed due to the April 2010 Icelandic volcano eruption. On 1 May, Denters and Stanfour flew to New York to record the video for "Life Without You".[7][8] The official release of "Life Without You" in Germany was 28 May. The video leaked on the internet on 24 May.[9] In the UK, she also accepted a collaboration with London MC Chipmunk on his hit "Until You Were Gone", which entered the top three on UK charts.

2011–present: Screaming Out Loud and The Voice UK

Denters started working on new songs for her second studio album in January 2011. In the beginning of the recording process, Denters announced via Twitter she was working with British DJ and producer K-Gee and musician Ben Cullum. On 11 August, Denters took to her Twitter to announce the album was going to be entitled Screaming Out Loud.[10] "City Lights" was announced officially by K-Gee and Denters as the first single off the album.[11] The music video of "City Lights" was shot in London on 10 January 2012, directed by Daniel Broadley. However, the video wasn't released since Tennman Records weren't going to release another album with Denters and eventually closed its doors.

Denters announced on her Facebook page that she wasn't signed to Tennman Records or Interscope Records anymore and that she hadn't been for over a year (since 2012), but she is said to be working on a new music independently.

At the end of 2012, Dutch DJ and producer Erik Arbores and Denters collaborated for the new Dance4Life theme song called "dance4life (now dance)" released digitally on 23 November. They performed the song in the Dance4Life 2012 charity event in Ahoy, Rotterdam.[12]

On 24 February 2014, Denters returned to stage performing exclusive new music for the first time ever at Showcase Live in London. She opened the show singing her first hit single "Outta Here" followed by three new original songs: "Cars and Airplanes", "If I Could I Would" and "Anything For The Money", accompanied by a performance with Lorde's "Royals", and a special appearance of Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home" and Avicii's "Wake Me Up". She also performed at some small venues in London to promote the new songs.

On 24 September 2014, Denters surprised the fans with a digital release of "If I Could I Would" on iTunes and Spotify. It was her first independent release.

On 24 January 2015, Denters appeared on BBC One's The Voice UK, selected to join's team for the next round.[13] However, she was eliminated at the knockouts stage.


Studio albums


Year Region Award Category Result
2009 Netherlands TMF Awards Best Female Artist Won
TMF Superchart Award Won
Belgium Best International Artist Nominated[14]
Europe MTV Europe Music Awards Best Dutch & Belgian Act Won[15]
Best European Act Nominated[16]
2010 EBBA Most Successful Artist (outside own country) Won[17]
Netherlands TMF Awards Best Female Artist Won[18]
Best Video "Admit It" Nominated[18]
United Kingdom Urban Music Awards Best Collaboration "Until You Were Gone" Nominated[19]






  1. Esmée Denters hits 100 million YouTube views
  2. 1 2 "Justin Timberlake Signs YouTube Singer to His Label". People. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  3. De Gelderlander: Carrière gaat voor studie (in Dutch)
  4. "Esmée Denters – Outta Here". Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  5. "music: Outta Here (2010)". Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  6. "Official Homepage" (in German). Stanfour. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  7. "Twitter / Esmée Denters: Tomorrow flying to New York". 30 April 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  8. "Twitter / Esmée Denters: videoshoot going good. sta". 1 May 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  9. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. "Twitter / Esmée Denters: The album is gonna be called...". 11 August 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  11. "Twitter / Karl Gordon: Tonight I will be playing...". 7 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  12. "Twitter / Esmée Denters: Flying back to holland...". 30 November 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  14. TMF Awards: Esmée Denters nominated for Best New International Artist
  15. MTV Europe Music Awards: Esmée Denters nominated for Best Dutch & Belgian Act
  16. "MTV EMA 2010 :: 07.11.2010 :: Madrid :: Esmée Denters". 7 November 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  17. "European Border Breakers Awards". 12 January 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  18. 1 2 "Esmée Denters wint TMF Award voor Beste Vrouw // TMF Awards 2010 @ Enschede". 26 June 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  19. "Muso's Guide » Blog Archive » Urban Music Awards nominees revealed". 2 June 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
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