Kate Ryan was born Katrien Verbeeck in 1980. As virtually her whole family played either the guitar or the piano, gifted Kate developed an equally large soft spot for both instruments.
As her parents owned their own café and pub concerts are quite popular in Flanders, the region around her home town Meerhout got to know Kate’s talent quite well. Armed with only a guitar and a considerable load of guts, Kate hit the stage and performed songs by Alanis Morissette, 4 Non-Blondes, Pointer Sisters or Aretha Franklin. Also she toured as a backing vocalist with the Soapband, a renowned bunch of the country’s foremost television actors. In studio Kate honed her skills recording an album, which she partially co-wrote, with the local pop group Melt.
Her big break came when in 2001 one of her own creations, composed with the help of Andy Janssens, was picked up by the big boys. Kate’s debut single Scream For More was produced by Phil Wilde, once the producer behind 2 Unlimited, Def Dames Dope and CB Milton. The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, South Africa, the UK and the States were the first in line to welcome the new star on the airwaves. In Belgium, Scream For More was a huge summer floorbuster (17 weeks charts) and gathered nominations for a Radio Donna Award and for an award as best single of the year of Belgium’s biggest music television TMF.
The second single U R My Love was also released in 2001. This second hit saw Kate adding Finland, Israel, Mexico and several parts of South-America to her list. The video was released mid December, when she also performed several shows in Chicago! In 2002 Kate decided to have her way in French. Mylène Farmer’s classic Désenchantée was converted into a dance version and the result exceeded all expectations, quickly reaching #1 and settling there for 6 weeks. It also landed the Dutch top 5. The same year saw the release of Kate’s debut album Different, including 12 tracks and 3 French bonustracks. This album combines rock, pop, dance and ballads. Kate co-wrote all tracks on the album, which sold more than 250,000 copies in Europe alone.
In 2006 she represented Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest 2006, singing Je t’adore. However, she was eliminated in the semi-final, finishing two places outside the advancing Top 10. This was unexpected, considering she was one of the top favourites for first place. Along with the elimination of entries from Estonia and Cyprus, Ryan’s dismissal was one of the bigger shocks of Eurovision 2006. It was said that on the 14 August 2006 Ryan would release Je t’adore in the UK for which exclusive mixes by Credheadz were commissioned, but the release was shelved close to the release date. It did however enjoy heavy rotation on the UK’s music channels and is still played regularly on Flaunt. Je t’adore was released Stateside as an import single, where it has sold decently well among pop music lovers. Especially those would like their pop music with European flavour.The following single was Alive, taken from the album of the same name, which also features French versions of several tracks including Je t’adore, Alive and the third single All For You. The follow up was her double A-side single Voyage Voyage/We All Belong. The track Voyage, Voyage is a cover of the European smash hit by Desireless and We All Belong was selected as the official anthem for the Eurogames 2007.