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Kurt Johan van Heerden
February 19, 1970 (age 43)
Afrikaans folk music
Kurt Johan van Heerden better known as Kurt Darren, is a South African singer, songwriter and television presenter, who won 7South African Music Awards (SAMA) from 2007 to 2011. He has also appeared in a number of South African films.
His debut was with the album For Your Precious Love released in 1995. From 2006 to 2011, Darren was the presenter of the popular South African show Jukebox broadcast on kykNET. During the programme, callers would have the opportunity to request and dedicate music videos of their choice. SMS (text) messages would also roll in during the program. The program was broadcast live on various radio stations as well on Sunday evenings.
Many of Kurt Darren's songs in Afrikaans are known in Europe through cover versions particularly by artists in the Netherlands and Belgium, and to some extent in Germany and Austria.
Songs covered in Dutch include "Staan Op", covered by Jan Smit as "Sta Op", "Meisie Meisie" by Henk Wijngaard as "Meissie Meissie", "Kaptein Span die Seile" as "Kap'tein" by Bart Kaëll, "Hemel op Tafelberg" as "Die Zomer Gaat Nooit Voorbij" by Wim Soutaer, "Af en af" by Hellemaal Hollands and "Bloubergstrand se sonsak" as "Dromendans" by Vinzzent, while Klostertaler covered "Meisie Meisie" in German.
Kurt Darren (right) with Danny K and Jen Su during the Cook-off SA Challenge 2012
Darren married South African model Dunay Nortjé on 8 January 2011.
On 7 July 2013, Darren suffered serious injuries as a result of a car accident on his way home after watching a rugby match. His agent Marnus Bisschoff and his secretary were also seriously injured. All were airlifted urgently to hospital where tests showed he had 11 broken ribs and serious injuries to his head. He was released after weeks of treatment.
Many of his scheduled concerts had to be canceled. He returned to active life months later with a rescheduled gig dates and a tour in US and Europe beginning of 2014.