Andre Hazes, whose bluesy homegrown Dutch language songs made him a local icon, died September 23 of a heart attack in Woerden, Netherland. He was 53.Born in a working class neighborhood of Amsterdam, he made his television and recording debut at the age of 9. During his lifetime he recorded eight gold albums and scores of platinums, including “Just Andre,” which went five times platinum. He also recorded a several odes to Dutch soccer, among them “We Love Orange” and “Orange on Top.” Hazes was loved for his straightforwardness and vulnerability, from his blue collar origins up to royalty, and in many ways carried on the bard tradition of the “smartlap,” songs of troubles and woe, which originated in the working class sections of Amsterdam. “He was the number one singer in Holland, especially about feelings of loneliness,” John Appel, director of the 1999 Hazes documentary “She Believes in Me,” told Variety. The film broke records for a documentary film in Holland at the time.
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