That he is a late bloomer who started early. Or someone for whom a Lifetime Achievement Award has the same emotional value as the award for best breakthrough. It just depends on how you look at it, the MIAs say. But in any case, they are firmly convinced that their career award goes to the right person. Bart Peeters will receive it on January 24, at the sixteenth presentation of the Music Industry Awards in the Sportpaleis.
The singer and TV presenter thus ends up in illustrious company. At the beginning of this year – when he himself was the master of ceremonies – the honor went to Vaya Con Dios. Previously, Will Tura, Toots Thielemans, Rocco Granata, Luc De Vos and Arno received a lifetime award. Names that are now either on the other side or in the winter of their career. Together with laureates such as Raymond van het Groenewoud, De Kreuners and Soulsister, Bart Peeters is still active, but the difference is that he “will be 65 next year and will then only be somewhere in the middle of his career”, according to the organization.
“Bart is a songwriter par excellence and can look back on an impressive career that is far from over. He started performing as an eleven-year-old, more than 50 years ago, and will probably continue for another 50 years.”
That first performance took place in 1971, as a young UK player among big names such as Ferre Grignard. But the career that today is ready knowledge for half the country was long delayed at the time due to detours through TV and radio. Peeters also left his musical mark – with programs such as Pop-Elektron he interviewed and introduced bands such as U2 in Flanders. He scored in English with The Radios, with evergreens such as She goes nana, and as drummer of the Clement Peerens Explosition he did it in Antwerp. But it wasn’t until he was 42 that Peeters really made his debut, in Dutch and with folk.
This gave the “late bloomer” a total of six MIAs. Between 2008 and 2011 he won ‘best Dutch-language’ four times in a row, and again in 2014. In 2021 he received ‘best album’ for De kat sat on the newspaper. And in addition to this year, he also presented the MIAs in 2017. But Peeters himself calls the Lifetime Achievement Award “the highest token of appreciation”.
“If I had been allowed to write a letter to De Dreamfabriek myself in the past, it would have said: Can I please become a Flemish singer-songwriter later? That dream has come true. I am very grateful to the sector, the audience and all my fellow musicians.”
Collecting his career prize seems to be just a stopover for Bart Peeters. Last year he co-wrote Will Tura’s farewell single, produced Natalia’s new album and, among other things, jumped on stage at Metejoor. He is working on his eighth studio album with his backing group De Ideale Mannen. And next year he will return to the Lotto Arena for Bart Peeters Deluxe. On his 60th birthday in 2019, this resulted in a record series of 26 concerts and 150,000 tickets sold. This time the counter is (for now) seven evenings.