The story begins in the early 1990s when the young girl Marie-José van der Kolk moved out of the picturesque Dutch town of Ijmuiden to conquer the world. Back then, “The World” was just a summer vacation job on the island of Mallorca. Nobody, least of all Marie herself, could have guessed that this was the first chapter of a musical world career.
But first things went back home after the summer, where the leisure enthusiasm for dance, theater and dance music was converted into professional training: Marie began professional dance and theater training. In the following summers she always returned to Mallorca. In the meantime she had met the DJ and music producer Sammy and so they met more and more often to work on common musical ideas.
The first results could be seen or heard: Even more in the classical dance and technology area, the two young artists were able to inspire more and more people with their music. Between 1995 and 1998 the duo celebrated their first charter success as a DJ Sammy featuring Carisma with songs like «Life Is Just A Game», «You’re My Angel», «Prince Of Love», «Golden Child» and «Magic Moment». The first really big `magic moment` followed in 1998 with a change in musical direction, more in the direction of dance pop. The big breakthrough came under a new name – LOONA – and with the title «Bailando»: Eight weeks number one in Germany, number 1 in Switzerland, number 3 in Austria meant eight gold, three platinum and double platinum awards. To top it off, the duo in Germany were awarded the ECHO in the “Best Dance Single” category for “Bailando”.
The second single, «Hijo de la luna» (originally from the Spanish band Mecano from 1984), reached number 1 in Germany and sold an incredible 1.5 million copies and was awarded platinum and gold. The imposing ballad was recorded with the Orquestra de la Luna, a 40-member ensemble of the best musicians in Germany. The title became the most successful Spanish single ever in the German charts. The successful album “Lunita” was followed by “Donde Vas”, another single that manifested LOONA’s regular place in the charts.
Only a year later, fate played out the next `Magic Moment` card:» Mamboleo «was released in 1999 as the first single from the new album» Entre dos aguas «, reached the top 3 of the German charts and was gold-plated. LOONA was awarded the second echo for this single, again in the «Best Dance Single» category.
«Latino Lover», «Baila Mi Ritmo», «Viva El Amor» and «Rhythm Of The Night» are other unforgettable hits from LOONA. A total of over 10 million records were sold worldwide! Through appearances in the USA, Asia, Australia, South Africa and Europe, LOONA achieved top 10 positions in various countries around the world.
In 2002 it went back musically to the dance roots. As a result, the success curve skyrocketed: Under the project name DJ Sammy feat. LOONA achieved the duo with the title «Boys Of Summer» the number 1 position in England, South Africa and Australia. The song was in the top 10 all over Europe, even in the USA the top 20 were boarded. The follow-up single «Sunlight» achieved top 10 status in all countries mentioned. The worldwide success enabled Marie and Sammy to tour all over the world in 2002 and 2003. In Australia they took part in the well-known «Rumba Tour» and toured with Bon Jovi, Pink and the Sugababes from Perth to Brisbane, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne. Across Australia, Across the World!
After Marie lost her beloved mother ten years ago, this experience also had a massive impact on the selection of the tracks from the album «Wind Of Time», which was released in 2005. It was a collection of the most beautiful ballads like «Where Do You Go My Lovely», «Streets Of London», «Blowin´In The Wind» and the first single «Tears In Heaven». Unforgettable until today how emotionally she presented the Clapton classic at «The Dome», then very pregnant with her now nine-year-old daughter Saphira.
In 2008, Marie finally ended her baby break and opened a new chapter: separated from Sammy professionally and privately, she published the hit single «Por La Noche» and the album «Moonrise» under the successful name LOONA. She was also a member of the «Popstars» jury. In 2009, Loona landed the summer hit of the year with “Parapapapapa” and also significantly strengthened her live activities, much to the delight of her numerous fans, who always celebrate their thrilling performances enthusiastically. “Vamos a la Playa” followed in 2010 – a hit across Europe: number 4 in France, number 16 in Switzerland, number 24 in Denmark,