Trijntje Oosterhuis is a Dutch singer. She was born in Amsterdam in 1973. As a child, she played together with her brother Tjeerd in the children’s musical Wordt er in de ruimte ook gelezen? by Marjan Berk.
Together with her brother Tjeerd, Oosterhuis formed the band Total Touch, which brought a musical mix of 80s, soul, 90s, R&B, funk, pop, and dance. The band originated in the 1980s when the brother and sister were still teenagers. The lineup of Total Touch changed several times in the years before their breakthrough, but brother and sister Oosterhuis were always the ones who kept the group alive.
In 1991, the band won first prize in the music category during the finals of the Kunstbende competition. That same year, the band was in the spotlight during the Grote Prijs van Nederland.
In 1994, Oosterhuis got the opportunity to tour the world with saxophonist Candy Dulfer in the backing choir. The tour was supposed to last for six weeks, but in the end, they traveled for two years in different periods. In 1995, Oosterhuis contributed to the successful song “Ademnood” by Linda, Roos & Jessica. Furthermore, it was the year in which Total Touch was offered a record deal with the BMG Music label. The band’s self-titled debut album was released a year later. The first single, “Touch Me There,” became a big hit in the summer of 1996 due to heavy radio and TV airplay.
On August 14, 1996, during the opening of the Amsterdam ArenA, Oosterhuis sang the hymn “De zee,” written by John Ewbank. This performance resulted in a top 10 hit and a lot of media attention. In September, the second Total Touch single “Somebody Else’s Lover” was released, which gave the group their final breakthrough in the Netherlands. The single reached the third position in the charts and was certified platinum.
After several hit singles and a debut album that was awarded platinum five times, Total Touch took a step back in 1997 to focus on a new album. Meanwhile, Oosterhuis scored a big hit with the song “Wereld zonder jou,” a duet with Marco Borsato.
In April 1998, Total Touch returned with their second album, “This way,” of which the first single, “I’ll say goodbye,” became a big hit. The album achieved double platinum status. Oosterhuis also scored another solo hit at the end of 1998 with the song “Vlieg met me mee,” the title track of the Dutch movie Abeltje.
In the same year, Oosterhuis embarked on some solo projects. She performed alongside jazz pianist Herbie Hancock at the 24th North Sea Jazz Festival. She also participated in the music tour Marlboro Flashbacks, where she delved into the repertoire of Stevie Wonder, a personal favorite of the singer. A live recording of this tour was released on CD titled “For once in my life,” which achieved platinum status.
In 2001, Oosterhuis and her brother decided to disband Total Touch as a band for the time being. In the fall, Trijntje embarked on a solo tour of theaters. On Tuesday, January 28, 2002, Oosterhuis was one of the acts at the celebration in the Amsterdam ArenA for the wedding of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta. In March 2002, Oosterhuis embarked on a theater tour in the Netherlands.
The singer’s first true solo album, titled “Trijntje Oosterhuis,” was released in March 2003 by EMI Music, with the first single “Free” released in February. She also recorded an exclusive song for the charity CD “Hoop! Peace Songs Voor War Child,” which was released on May 2. Since its opening on June 19, 2002, the song “In this together” can be heard in the pre-show of the attraction PandaDroom at lunapark Efteling.
Around the same period, a compilation CD and DVD of Total Touch were released by BMG. Oosterhuis went on tour again to promote her solo album, performing in Dutch theaters. The album was certified gold. In addition to “Free,” the album also spawned singles such as “What about us,” “It’s you I need,” and “Don’t say that you love me.”
Following the birth of Princess Amalia on December 7, Oosterhuis, along with Carel Kraayenhof and violinist Janine Jansen, released the song “Nu dat jij er bent,” written by John Ewbank. The proceeds from the single went entirely to the children’s fund of Jantje Beton. In February 2004, Oosterhuis received the Gouden Harp (Golden Harp). It was the second Harp award Oosterhuis received; she had previously won the Zilveren Harp (Silver Harp) in 1997. In early 2004, the singer signed a record deal with the American jazz label Blue Note. A new live album by the singer, “Strange fruit,” featuring songs by Billie Holiday and George Gershwin, performed with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and the Houdini’s, was released. Two weeks after its release, the album achieved gold status, later reaching platinum status.
Around the same time, the singer embarked on another theater tour, this time with a more acoustic setting. Recordings were made for a live DVD during one of the concerts. In November, the DVD “A thousand days – Live & acoustic” was released by EMI Music. Oosterhuis ended the year by releasing a Christmas single, “Merry Christmas baby,” together with saxophonist Candy Dulfer. The song, along with a Christmas song by singer Do, was released by radio station Sky Radio and reached the seventh position in the Top 40 chart.
On January 1, 2005, Oosterhuis participated in the charity single “Als je iets kan doen” by Artiesten Voor Azië. The proceeds from the song went entirely to the victims of the Asian tsunami on Christmas 2004. Afterward, Oosterhuis focused on creating a new studio album. The album, titled “See you as I do,” was released in September. Its title track was chosen as the first single and became a modest hit. At the end of November, the singer made her comeback on stage with two sold-out concerts at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. Around the same time, the album was certified gold. In December, the second single from the album, “My angel,” was released.
From February 2006, Oosterhuis embarked on a tour of Dutch theaters with a full-length show. Trijntje recorded 14 songs from the repertoire of Burt Bacharach with the Metropole Orchestra. This album, titled “The look of love,” was released in November 2006. During the CD presentation at the Beatrix Theater in Utrecht, the singer immediately received a platinum record for selling 70,000 copies. In the week after its release, the album entered the number one position on the Album Top 100 chart. In December, Oosterhuis, along with the Metropole Orchestra, embarked on a Christmas tour throughout the country, focusing on the songs from the new album.
In November 2007, it was announced that a second album of Burt Bacharach songs, titled “Who’ll speak for love,” would be released in early December 2007. Bacharach co-wrote the title track with Tim Rice (lyricist of, among others, Evita and Aida), and Oosterhuis was the first artist to perform the song. The album entered the Album Top 100 chart at number 2. Around the same time, Oosterhuis toured the Netherlands with Leonardo Amuedo.
In early 2008, Oosterhuis concluded her theater tour with guitarist Peter Tiehuis. Some tour dates had to be rescheduled due to the recording of “Who’ll speak for love.” Leonardo Amuedo, who came from Brazil, couldn’t join, so Peter Tiehuis took over the accompaniment. In addition, Oosterhuis performed with her band in Japan at various Blue Note clubs in the spring, inspired by the two songbooks of Burt Bacharach.
In late June, the album “Ken je mij, live en akoestisch in De Rode Hoed” was released on CD and DVD. The album reached number 9 on the album chart after three weeks.
In July, the song “Face in the crowd,” a duet with Lionel Richie, was released. It was related to the planned concerts on September 6, 7, and 9 at the GelreDome in Arnhem, where Oosterhuis performed with Lionel Richie and Candy Dulfer as part of Symphonica in Rosso. In November 2008, she received an Edison Jazz Award for the album “Who’ll speak for love” at Muziekcentrum Frits Philips in Eindhoven.
Following the death of pop star Michael Jackson in 2009, Oosterhuis, along with guitarist Leonardo Amuedo and producer Keith John, began recording Michael Jackson songs in her own garden studio. Initially, the recordings were not intended for release, but the singer’s label found the repertoire too good to leave on the shelf, leading to the release of the album “Never can say goodbye” at the end of 2009, which achieved gold status. Afterward, the singer worked on a new studio album in New York, featuring lesser-known soul classics. The next album, titled “This is the season,” was released in November 2010 and featured a selection of Oosterhuis’ favorite Christmas classics. During the same period, she embarked on a theater tour that ran until April 2011. In January 2011, the singer underwent vocal cord surgery due to recurring vocal issues. Immediately after the surgery, “Sundays in New York” was launched, an album featuring soul classics recorded in the U.S. during the summer of 2010 with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. The album was distributed for free on Saturday, January 15, through the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper in a one-time edition of 750,000 copies. Two months later, “Sundays in New York” was officially released for all record stores in the country with different artwork and additional tracks. On January 16, 2012, it was announced that Oosterhuis would appear as a coach in the third season of The Voice of Holland. Shortly after the announcement, singer Anouk posted a video on Facebook showing her singing with Oosterhuis, sparking rumors that the two had recorded a duet for Oosterhuis’ latest album. This rumor turned out to be false, but Anouk did write songs for the singer. The project was released in early April under the title “Wrecks we adore,” with the lead single “Happiness.” In addition to Anouk, Oosterhuis collaborated with Swedish producers Tore Johansson and Martin Gjerstad on this album. A week after its release, “Wrecks we adore” debuted at number one on the Album Top 100 chart.
In 2014, Oosterhuis was selected by AVROTROS to represent the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna. During the rehearsals for the show, the singer garnered attention for wearing a daring “ripped dress,” which received widespread coverage in the Dutch media. Eventually, she chose to wear a pantsuit instead. Oosterhuis performed the song “Walk Along,” written by Anouk, but was eliminated in the semifinals. After the contest, she was awarded the Barbara Dex Award, which was given to the worst-dressed artist.
In 2016, Oosterhuis embarked on a tour of theaters and churches with her program “A Christmas Evening with Trijntje,” where she primarily performed soul music. Oosterhuis served as a coach on the singing program It Takes 2 from 2016 to 2019. On September 15, 2017, Trijntje’s first Dutch-language album was released. “Leven van de liefde” contains covers of songs that are dear to Oosterhuis’ heart. In June 2017, it was announced that Oosterhuis would be leaving the group Ladies of Soul after five years. She wanted to focus more on her solo career and her family.
In 2018, Oosterhuis served as a guest artist at Holland zingt Hazes and performed with De Toppers at the Johan Cruijff ArenA. She also participated in the TV show Beste Zangers and the Bridge to Liberation Experience in Arnhem. In September 2018, Oosterhuis announced a concert at the Ziggo Dome to celebrate her 25th anniversary as a singer. On March 21, 2019, it was announced that the concert was completely sold out. On November 9, 2018, Oosterhuis released the album “Mensen veel geluk” (Wishing People Happiness). To promote the album, she performed a concert at a sold-out Royal Theater Carré to celebrate her father Huub Oosterhuis’ 85th birthday, as he wrote the lyrics for the songs.
On March 21, 2019, Oosterhuis released the single “Dit is voor mij” (This is for me) as a precursor to the album of the same name, which was released on June 7. The album was produced by Jett Rebel and featured collaborations with various fellow musicians, including Diggy Dex, Alain Clark, and Henny Vrienten. Oosterhuis performed at multiple special events and festivals to promote the album, including the renowned North Sea Jazz Festival in July 2019, where she was invited by Burt Bacharach. In the fall, she embarked on a club tour.
On April 9, 2020, Oosterhuis was scheduled to portray the role of Maria in The Passion. However, this edition of the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the summer of 2020, Oosterhuis served as a judge on the SBS6 program “We Want More” and performed a series of acoustic livestream concerts. At the end of 2020, Oosterhuis released her first English-language album in a long time, “Wonderful Christmastime.” The album was recorded with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw and featured covers of Christmas classics from past and present, including the title track written by Paul McCartney. In 2021, she released a new album titled “Everchanging Times,” featuring songs by Burt Bacharach.
In 2023, Trijntje Oosterhuis released an album called “Trijntje zingt Vrienten met Vrienten”, with songs of the late Henny Vrienten. She collaborated with the The Hague Residence Orchestra on this album.