Glenda Batta, known under her stage name Glennis Grace, represented The Netherlands in the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest with the ballad My Impossible Dream. She was named as a favourite, but despite the high expectations, Grace failed to bring The Netherlands to the final, coming 14th in the semifinal.
In the Dutch 2005 national final, Glennis Grace was the clear winner, only getting competition from Airforce, who participated with their song How Does It Feel?, written by Johnny Logan. Her ballad scored 170 points, runner-up Airforce managed to score 133 and third place Johnny Rosenberg went home with 47 points.
In Kiev, Glennis Grace had to perform as nineth of 25 participating countries. Despite picking up the Belgian 12 points, the Monegasque 8 points and the Maltese 8 points, the other countries were not too convinced by Grace’s effort: 53 points brought here the 14th place: not enough to qualify for the final.
Glennis Grace rose to fame in The Netherlands eleven years before her Eurovision participation: in 1994. Aged 16, she participated in the Soundmix Show. In that show, unknown people imitated famous singers by singing their songs and copying their looks. Grace participated as Whitney Houston and won the competition. She signed a record deal and released her first single I’m Gonna Be Strong. That single managed to get a thirteenth place in the Dutch charts.
The years after that, her songs never managed to have success in the charts. After I’m Gonna Be Strong, her next chart success was My Impossible Dream.
But now the main question of this editorial: whatever happened to Glennis Grace after the Eurovision Song Contest 2005?
Right after her Eurovision adventure, Grace and her team released the single Shake Up The Party. Radio stations refused to play the song and even an expensive video did not help: another flop for Grace. The album following her two singles, named after her Eurovision song, My Impossible Dream also flopped in the charts. Because of missing success, her record label ended the cooperation with Grace. Also her manager, John van Katwijk, decided to step out: Glennis Grace was on her own, just a few months after it looked like she was going to gain her popularity back.
Shortly after being dropped by her label, Grace signed a deal with CNR Music. CNR Music wanted to try a new way for Grace: recording a complete album in Dutch. Grace wasn’t convinced that that would be the right step, but decided to go for it. In 2007 her first single in Dutch, called Hoe (‘How’), was released. The media this time gave some attention to the single, but the public didn’t pick it up: the success Grace and CNR Music hoped for was not achieved. The second single coming from the album, Dansen Met Het Leven (‘Dancing With Life)’ also was not successful.
The album, simply called Glennis, was released in September 2007. On the album, Grace recorded a ballad especially for her son, Anthony Shane, called Als Je Slaapt (‘When You Sleep’). Als Je Slaapt entered the Dutch charts, peaking at nineth place. It looked like the Dutch songs brought Grace a third time lucky.
In 2010, Grace went back to the studio to record her second Dutch album. This time, she was working with Jochem Fluitsma and Eric van Tijn, who could be known amongst Eurovision fans for their songs Hemel En Aarde (by Edsilia Rombley, came fourth in the 1998 contest) and Vrede (by Ruth Jacott, came sixth in the 1993 contest).
In May 2010, the first single of that album was released: Als Je Mij Weer Aankijkt (‘When You Look At Me Again’).
Grace also participated in the show ‘Van Popster Tot Operaster’ (‘From Pop Star To Opera Star’). She sang Habanera from the opera Carmen and won the show convincingly.
On 9th September 2010, Glennis Grace was voted ‘Best Female Singer’ by Buma Cultuur, an important cultural organisation in the Netherlands.
2011 turned out to be the year for Glennis Grace’s definitive break through. She was invited to participate in De Beste Zangers Van Nederland (‘The Best Singers Of The Netherlands’). A show where eight singers sing eachother’s songs for eight weeks to find ‘the best singer’. Some others who participated in the same season Grace participated in were George Baker (known internationally for Una Paloma Blanca and Little Green Bag), Do (known internationally for her dance version of Heaven) and Anita Meyer (known for her song Why Tell Me Why). In this series, Grace sang Afscheid (‘Goodbye’), a song by Volumia. Grace’s version became a huge hit on YouTube, which led to the decision to released Afscheid as a single. Within a few days, the song was #1 in the Dutch charts: Glennis Grace had her first #1-single after being in the music industry for 17 years. The single also managed to get the Golden Status in The Netherlands.
Grace also dominated the DVD Chart for weeks in late in 2011. The DVD of her concert in Club Dauphine, with a maximum capacity of 150 people, was a huge success and topped the DVD charts for weeks.
Just before Christmas 2011, Glennis Grace released a duet with Edwin Evers, a famous radio dj, called Wil Je Niet Nog 1 Nacht (‘Don’t You Want 1 More Night’), a cover of Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson’s duet Don’t You Wanna Stay. Within hours after its release, Wil Je Niet Nog 1 Nacht was #1 in the Dutch iTunes charts.
Grace’s latest single is called Ik Ben Niet Van Jou (‘I’m Not Yours’) and is currently charting at number 27 in the Dutch charts.
For this year, Glennis Grace has planned her first big concerts on the 14th and 15th September in the Heineken Music Hall (the venue of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2012) and she will also be a guest star in the Toppers concert in the Amsterdam ArenA. Also her next album, This Is My Voice will be released. It will contain both Dutch and English songs.
Watch Glennis Grace’s latest video, ‘Ik Ben Niet Van Jou’, below!