Talented female singer who enjoyed enormous popularity in the seventies. Died of cancer on August 7,1984.
Christiane Leenaerts, as she was born in 1945 in Antwerp, started singing in 1965 with the orchestra "The Adams", where here friend and later husband Marc Hoyois was hitting the drums. A first record "Kussen onder de regenboog" went by unnoticed. A cooperation with manager Milo De Coster (see Liliane Saint-Pierre) also didn't work out well.
She then was lured into the arms of manager Robert Bylois, who launched Ann Christy. She took on a French repertoire and went on tour with Adamo trough Belgium and France.
The Flemish audience discovered her in 1968 when she participated in the "Knokke Cup", a renowned international song contest at the Belgian Coast town. It was the first time the Belgian squad (with also Jacques Raymond, Lily Castel, Nicole Josy ...) won that trophy.
She tried to go to the Eurosong-festival as the Belgian participant in 1970 for the RTBF and in 1971 for the BRT (with the song "Dag vreemde man" (Hello strange man)). Just as distinctive as her beautiful voice were the clothes she was wearing : Ann Christy has always acted as a sort of living mannequin for hippyclothes-designer An Salens.
However, in 1975 she finally succeeded in going to Eurosong, with the slow song "Gelukkig zijn" (released in English as "Could this be happiness" in French as "L'histoire du bonheur"). Although this song was initially intended for a commercial about jeans, she finished fourteenth.
In 1978, Bob Dylan wrote two songs for her :"Walk out in the rain" and "If I don't be there by morning".
In 1980, she score a hit with "De roos" (known as "The rose" from Bette Middler, in a translation by Johan Verminnen), and in 1982 she went on tour with Erik Van Neygen. A few months later she got seriously sick, a battle she would eventually lose in 1984 at the age of 38.
In Flemish show business, her death left a serious void, but she had managed to touch people beyond that select group during her lifetime. For example, Johan Verminnen said : "If I think back about her, I always get a little sad. During her lifetime, everybody was cheering her beautiful voice, but that was it. Nobody has ever really coached her. A singer like her however needs someone beside her to convince her to go in one direction. Ann didn't have someone like that, so they made her do all kinds of terrible television shows that did more harm than good. I really regret that, because Ann is someone you can only talk about with love, a lot of love. That sadness in her look ..."
Her death continues to be remembered each year with television shows or new compilation albums. In 1998, a CD "Face to Face" with Ann and another "tragic" death of Flemish show business Louis Neefs was released by BMG-Ariola.
In 2000, Edwin Ysebaert & co released a new cd of Ann Christy, with nothing but unreleased material of the Flemish singer. The releasedate of "Liefde voor het mooie" (love for the beautiful) is now set at September 22. The CD will contained tracks which where found by the husband of Ann Christy. Before the release of the album, there were two new singles from the cd called "De Nieuwe Roos, een hommage aan Ann Christy", and "Iemand" - a translated cover of "People".
Buy CD's of this band at proxis
- Ann Christy (1971)
- Gelukkig zijn - Could this be happiness (1975)
- The best of Ann Christy (1976)
- Ik mis hem zo - Le garçon que j'aimais (1976)
- Greatest Hits (1977)
- Bravo (1977)
- My love, my life (1977)
- Midzomernacht (i.s.m. MMT) (1977)
- Made for love (1980)
- Het beste van Ann Christy (1984)
- Herinnering aan Ann Christy (1989)
- De mooiste songs van Ann Christy (1992)
- Face to Face Ann Christy / Louis Neefs (1998, BMG Ariola).
- Liefde voor het mooie (2000, CNR)
- AnnChristy.be, the official site about the remembrance in 2000.
- bio on the flemish showbizzsite.
- video of Ann's entry to Eurosong in 1975 with "Gelukkig zijn"