Emerald singing in Hilversum, 2013
|Birth name||Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw|
|Born|| (1981-04-26) 26 April 1981|
|Genres||Jazz, pop, swing, electro swing|
Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw (born 26 April 1981), better known by her stage name Caro Emerald, is a Dutch pop and jazz singer. Active since 2007, she rose to prominence in 2009 with "Back It Up". Follow-up single "A Night Like This" topped charts in the Netherlands. Emerald is often praised for her outstanding live performances. She predominantly performs in English.
Her debut album Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor was conceived, written and produced as a studio project by Dutch songwriter/producer/creative director David Schreurs, Canadian songwriter Vincent Degiorgio and Dutch producer Jan van Wieringen, with Caro Emerald as the starring artist. In August 2010, the album spent its 30th week at number one in the Dutch album charts, setting an all-time record and beating Michael Jackson's "Thriller" by one week. The album became the biggest selling album of 2010 in the Netherlands with over 350,000 copies to date. Worldwide, approximately 2 million copies have been sold to date. On 3 October 2010, Emerald was awarded the Dutch music prize "Edison Award" for Best Female Artist. In 2013, a second studio album titled The Shocking Miss Emerald was released. The album entered at number one in the Dutch and United Kingdom album charts  and sold over 600.000 copies.
Early and personal life
Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw was born on 26 April 1981 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands to a Dutch father and an Aruban mother. She started singing lessons at age 12 with James Gilloffo in Amsterdam and joined a girl vocal group, Les Elles, under his guidance. Following high school she trained as a jazz vocalist at the Amsterdam Conservatory, graduating in 2005.
Emerald gave birth to a second daughter in August 2017.
In early 2007 Dutch producer Jan van Wieringen invited van der Leeuw to sing the vocal on a demo he was producing with David Schreurs. The song, "Back It Up", had been written by Schreurs and Canadian songwriter Vince Degiorgio and was based around a hip-hop beat created by Robin Veldman and Jan van Wieringen. Caro's jazzy vocal was considered a "perfect match" for the new song.
The demo was pitched to various publishers and labels but without result. But online the demo quickly reached public notice around the world and radio stations started playing the song.
Degiorgio, Schreurs, van Wieringen and van der Leeuw realised their sound had potential and started working on a studio album. Writing began in the summer of 2008 using "Back It Up"'s mix of 40s–50s jazz, easy listening, orchestral Latin, combined with infectious beats as a model. Adopting a sample based approach but with live instrumentation, the writing sessions drew from a wide range of influences including jazz organist Jackie Davis, exotica composer Martin Denny, mambo king Perez Prado, 1920s/30s jazz and van der Leeuw's own vocal inspirations of The Andrews Sisters, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. The usual method would be for Schreurs to create the ideas and backing tracks and then get together with top line writer and lyricist Degiorgio to write the songs. Van der Leeuw co-wrote several songs on the album, and van Wieringen co-created the tracks for "The Other Woman" and "Dr Wanna Do". Schreurs and Degiorgio are credited as "Creative Directors".
2009–12: Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor
After record labels either refused or failed to sign the project, Schreurs set up their own label Grandmono. "Back It Up" was released as debut single on July 6, 2009. The song gained airplay and popularity overnight and listed in the Dutch Top 40 for 12 weeks, peaking at No. 12. It became the most played song on 3FM in 2009.
Debut album Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor was released on January 28, 2010 in The Netherlands by Grandmono. It entered at #1 in the Album Charts and stayed there for weeks. By August 2010, the album had been #1 for 27 weeks, beating Michael Jackson's chart record for Thriller (26 weeks #1 in 1983). The album returned to #1, spending a total of 30 non-consecutive weeks on top spot of the Dutch Albums Chart.
The album reached double platinum (>100,000 copies) status in the Netherlands on 5 July 2010. In August 2010 it reached triple platinum, in November 2010 four times platinum (200,000), and in December 2011, sextuple platinum (>300,000 copies). Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor was removed from the Dutch charts after 104 weeks due to a rule providing albums can't spend >2 years in the charts. Upon re-entry, the album climbed back to #8.
Second single "A Night Like This" was released in December, 2009 and listed in the Dutch Charts for 26 weeks peaking at #1 in January 2010. It was the most played song in The Netherlands in 2010.
In 2011 Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor was released throughout Europe with great commercial success. It became a hit in the UK (1× platinum with sales exceeding 360,000, 8 weeks top 10 peaking at No. 4), Germany (1× platinum with sales exceeding 280,000, peaking at No. 5 and Platinum single for "A Night Like This" with sales exceeding 340,000), Poland (6× platinum with sales exceeding 60,000), Italy (Gold Single for "Back it Up"), and Austria (No. 1 with "A Night Like This") In the UK, all six singles and the entire album were A-listed by BBC Radio 2. Over 1,400,000 albums have been sold in Europe.
The cinematic sound of the project resulted in frequent use in TV series, movies and advertising. Selected credits include The Playboy Club, a brand campaign by Martini, 2 Days in New York, The Secret Circle, Wind Mobile, Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars, The Vampire Diaries, Agent Carter, Nestlé, Ferrero Rocher, Wrigley and Disney Nature film Chimpanzee.
On New Year's Eve 2011 Caro appeared on Jools Holland's Hootenanny
In January 2011, Emerald won the Popprijs 2010 for Best Dutch Pop Act of 2010. In early 2012 Emerald a Goldene Kamera for Best Musik International and an Echo Award for Best Newcomer International.
2013–14: The Shocking Miss Emerald
In April 2013, a second studio album The Shocking Miss Emerald was released, including singles "Tangled Up" and "Liquid Lunch". The album went to # 1 in the UK album chart. She performed in the UK at The BBC Radio Theatre; it was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Red Button.
2015–present: Emerald Island
In April 2015, Grandmono released a single called "Quicksand". March 2017 Grandmono released a mini album called "Emerald Island (EP)", with new material for the project inspired by the Exotica music genre, to accompany the "Emerald Island Tour".
- 11 April 2010: 3FM Serious Talent Award
- 15 April 2010: Schaal van Rigter
- 26 April 2010: De Eerste Prijs
- 3 October 2010: Edison Award, Best Female Singer
- MTV Europe Music Award, Best Dutch and Belgian Act
- 12 January 2011: European Border Breakers Award 2011
- 15 January 2011: 3FM Mega Award 2010
- 15 January 2011: Popprijs 2010
- 3 March 2011: Zilveren Harp 2010
- 3 March 2011: Het Beste Nederlandse lied 2010 (Best Song of the Year 2010)
- 14 March 2011: NPO 3FM, Best Album and Best Female Singer
- 12 June 2011: TMF Award for Best Female Singer
- 4 February 2012: Goldene Kamera 2012, Best Music International
- March 2012: Echo Music Prize, Best International Newcomer
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor||
|The Shocking Miss Emerald||
|MO x Caro Emerald By Grandmono||
|"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released.|
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|Live at the Heineken Music Hall
(with the Grandmono Orchestra)
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|"Back It Up"||2009||13||11||33||—||70||—||—||53||—||—||190||—||—||
||Deleted Scenes from |
the Cutting Room Floor
|"A Night Like This"||1||10||52||—||4||1||2||—||1||9||65||—||—|
|"You're All I Want For Christmas"
(with Brook Benton)
||The Shocking Miss Emerald|
|"I Belong to You"||99||—||131||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Ne Me Quitte Pas"||2014||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|"Coming Back as a Man"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||The Shocking Miss Emerald|
|"Wake Up Romeo"||2020||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.|