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15 October 1972

Sandra Kim )real name (Sandra Caldarone) was born in Montegnée (near Liège), in the French speaking part of Belgium (Walloon provinces), as a child of Italian descent. She is best known for winning the Eurovision Song Contest in Bergen, Norway, on 3 May 1986 with the song ‘J’aime la vie’ (‘I’m in love with life’). She was the only Belgium entry that would ever win the ESC up till now. Furthermore, being only 13 years old at the time, she was the youngest contestant (and winner) ever. Word has it that she and her management pretended to be 15 years old in order to avoid a scandal during the contest.

Before her triumph in the ESC, she participated in the ‘Festival de la chanson’ in Liège with the group ‘Musiclub’ – they end in 3rd position. In 1985 she represents Belgium in the festival Ambrogino d’Oro in Milan, where she ends in 4th position.

Next year she wins the ESC in Norway with ‘J’aime la vie’ and the single became a huge international hit, reaching the no. 1 spot in Belgium in no time. The single sold 1,4 million copies worldwide.

After winning the ESC, Sandra represented Belgium at the Yamaha Music Festival in Tokyo during the autumn of 1986, where she reached the 2nd position, together with Eros Ramazotti. A tour through Japan followed. Back in Belgium she sings the song for the anitamted film ‘Il était une fois la vie’ (Ónce upon a time there was a life’), composed by the famous Michel Legrand. Furthermore, Sandra plays a minor part in the TV film ‘Les Fripiats’ by Chergui Karroubi for the national Belgium TV.

In 1987, she released her second album ‘Bien dans ma peau’. Three singles went gold and on one of the songs, ‘J’aime mon pays’ (‘I love my country’) the famous Toots Thielemans participates. After touring throughout the world (Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Luxemburg, France, Switzerland , Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Israël, Japan and the USA), she duets with famous Belgium crooner Wil Tura on the song ‘Omdat ik van je hou’ (‘Because I love you’) in 1988. She also performs the song life with Tura during a concert in the Vorst National show ‘ Tura 2000’ .Next year, 1989, she records the duet ‘Bel me, schrijf me’ (‘Call me, write to me’) with Luc Steeno – the song went gold and maintained the 1st position in the Belgium charts for 8 weeks. The next year, Sandra and Luc were invited to perform the song ‘J’aime mon pays’ (‘I love my country’) for the 40 year anniversary as king and the 60th birthday of Belgium king Boudewijn. In that same year, she released her next album with fresh europop songs on it, released as both a French version (‘Balance tout’, ‘Everything in balance’) and a Dutch version (‘Met open ogen’, ‘With eyes wide open’). In 1993 she turns a different musical direction with the album ‘Sixties’ / ‘ Les Sixties’ (again in a Dutch and French edition). These records contain remakes of famous rock ‘n roll songs from the sixties.

It would take her until 1997 befor releasing a new album, this time a duet album with Frank Galan: ‘Onvergetelijk’ (‘Unforgettable’) including the hit song ‘Door veel van mij te houden’ (‘By loving me very much’). The song remains at the 1st postion in the charts for 4 weeks. Her next project is the 1998 release ‘Heel diep in mijn hart’ (‘From the depth of my heart’), a collection of cover versions with Dutch lyrics, written by Sandra herself. The title song from the album, a Dutch version of Celine Dion’s ‘My heart will go on’ (Titanic), has been released as a single. The next year she performs the ‘Song for Kosovo’ together with Helmut Lotti and Paul Michelsen for the victims of the war in this plagued country. She also stars as Eponine in the musical ‘Les misérables’. In the first year of the new millennium, she stars in the production ‘Musicals from the heart 1 & 2’, a best of programme with all the famous musical songs. In 2001 the single ‘Vivere uguale’ has been released, followed by ‘J’ai pas fini de t’aimer’ (French cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘I just can’t stop loving you’) in 2003 and ‘Dancing in the street’ in 2006.

In 1994 she married and in 1995 divorced Olivier Gerard. She has been married to Jurgen Delanghe since 2001. Sandra still frequently performs throughout Europe. Naturally she performs her songfestival hit ‘J’aime la vie’ in combination with other ESC songs, but also tours with the ‘SouldivaZ’. In 2011, 25 years after her triumph at the ESC, Sandra finally released her come-back album, 'Make up'. The album contains (only) eight tracks, five in English, three in French. The album was produced by Anthony Sinatra, front man of the Piano Club and the Holywood Porn Stars. Salvatore Adamo, Dani Klein (Vaya Con Dios) and Jacques Duvall contributed to some of the songs on the album.

On the web:

- Sandra's website:http://www.sandrakim.be

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What do we think:

PR: Sandra may not have produced the most credible of oeuvres throughout the years, she did win the ESC for Belgium for the first (and up till now only) time with the classic europop song 'J'aime la vie'. And for that alone she deserves a place on this web site. Sandra still has a great singing voice, unfortunately she did not record very consistent material, diverging from classic synth based europop to corney 'schlagers'. If you can find her first album, that would be a good place to start. Her 1991 album 'Balance tout' is a nice example of fresh, simple europop as well.


♪♪♪♪♪ - J'aime la vie (the 7" single) - 1986

♪♪♪ - J'aime la vie - 1986

♪♪ - Bien dans ma peau - 1988

♪♪♪ - Balance tout (F) / Met open ogen (NL) - 1991

♪♪ - Les sixties (F) / Sixties (NL) - 1993

♪ - Onvergetelijk (with Frank Galan) - 1997

♪♪ - Heel diep in mijn hart - 1998

♪♪♪ - Make up - 2011

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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