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24 facts: Kurt Darren

2010-10-07 15:00

1.    It was a Thursday, 19 February 1970 when Kurt Darren was born in Pretoria.

2.    Kurt, or the "Big KD" as he's known to his fans, matriculated at Lyttleton Manor High School, situated in a leafy suburb of Pretoria.

3.    The army was his next stop after high school (it was the 80s) where he did basic military training in Walvisbay. He joined the army's entertainment group and toured around with some of his machine-gun-toting colleagues for a year.

4.    Firing guns for a living might have bored him when he tried a couple of other occupations, which included tour-guiding in the Kruger National Park. He later joined the family business – construction – but not for long though. Stardom beckoned..

5.    Kurt is fluent in Afrikaans and English. This is because of his bilingual upbringing (Afrikaans pa and an English mom). His bilingual skills enabled him to produce albums in both languages later in his career.

6.    Kurt has fourteen solo albums to date including For Your Precious Love (1995), Kurt Darren (1997), Just When I Needed You Most (1998), Since I Found You (1999), Net Jy Alleen (2001), Meisie Meisie (2002), Se Net Ja (2003), Staan Op (2004), Vat My Maak My Joune (2005), Lekker Lekker (2006),  Voorwaarts Mars (2008), Uit Die Diepte Van My Hart (2008), Smiling Back at Me (2009), Die Beste Medisyne (2009)

7.    Despite having launched his singing career in 1995, he only became a household name in 2002 following the success of his Afrikaans hit song "Meisie Meisie" (from the album of the same title), which sold over 60 000 copies.

8.    "Meisie Meisie" has been re-recorded by a German group called Klostertaler as "Hallo Susse" - which translates as "Hey Cutie".

9.    Besides "Meisie Meisie", over 10 of Kurt's biggest hits have been translated into other languages in countries such as: Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. Some of these songs include: "Hemel Op Tafelberg", "Staan Op", "Alleen", "As Jy My Wil He" and "Se Net Ja".

10.    Kurt's album Smiling Back at Me attained gold status on its first day of release, having sold 22 000 copies.

11.    He made a cameo appearance on M-Net’s once-golden soapie Egoli: Place of Gold.

12.    The TV bug bit and Kurt went on to present a weekly video request TV show called Jukebox was on the exclusively Afrikaans TV network KykNet.

13.    Not to be confused with Jukebox, his weekly radio show on Jacaranda FM every Sunday between 2pm and 5pm. Listen live here: http://www.jacarandafm.com/kagiso/content/en/jacaranda/jacaranda-home

14.    Kurt performed with the 70s MOR band Smokie on the Symphony cruise liner in February 2000, lending his vocals to their hit song "Living Next Door to Alice".

15.    After numerous public requests, Kurt released his first DVD Kurt Op Toer. Sales reached platinum status, which is an incredible achievement for a DVD in South Africa.

16.    One of the highlights of Kurt's career was receiving an invitation to perform at the Nelson Mandela 46664 Benefit Concert in London in 2008.

17.    Kurt was one of two Afrikaans musicians (Steve Hofmeyr is the other) to perform at the historical Super 14 rugby match between the Blue Bulls and the Stormers at Orlando Stadium in Soweto in May this year – a venue that had never before hosted the game.

18.    Kurt was approached by his Jacaranda FM colleague Diane Broodryk to pay Anja Wolmarans a special visit in hospital as part of the station’s Good Morning Angels project. The 12-year-old Kurt Darren fan was left paralysed from the neck down following an accident that killed her parents. However, she died a year later.

19.    In 2006, Kurt quit smoking and told reporters that as a result, "My health is three times better and I don't get sinusitis. I can smell and I can taste again."

20.     A helicopter crashed on his farm during a party for his 26th birthday party. The passengers were guests viewing game on the farm. "It happened so fast, though I saw everything," Darren told a Beeld reporter after the incident. "I was scared the helicopter would explode like you see in the movies, and waited until everything was quiet before we walked closer." Fortunately no-one was seriously injured.

21.    When robbers broke into his Centurion home to rob him for the second time, they attacked him before fleeing with R10 000 in cash, household items and his gun.

22.    In 2005 Kurt was seen at the KKNK cultural festival with supermodel Minki van der Westhuizen on his arm and dating rumours soon followed. But Minki began dating Proteas captain Graeme Smith.

23.    Kurt bumped into Canadian teen popstar Justin Bieber at OR Tambo International Airport during the youngster’s first visit to South Africa in September. The two stars exchanged notes and later posed for a photo.

24.    His hit "Millenniumvrou" was aptly voted the the RSG listeners' favourite song of the millennium.

Kurt Darren is one of SA's most well-known Afrikaans music artists. Here are 24 facts about The Big KD.
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