Koos Alberts gave the impression that he had gradually processed his disability, said a reporter from the Dutch TV channel earlier this year against the popular singer. But he shook his head and replied: "You never process that. You are often sad about that. "
Seated in a wheelchair, with a paralyzed lower body and only one functioning vocal cord, Koos Alberts continued to reap success. After he had a paraplegic in 1987 after a traffic accident, his greatest glory years were over. But he continued to work decisively – until he had to cancel all scheduled performances due to bladder cancer in July. Various operations no longer helped. Alberts passed away on Friday. He was 71 years old.
Jacobus Johannes Krommenhoek stood up as a toddler on a stool in a Jordaan café to awaken everyone's endearment by singing sentimental songs, as did his great example, André Hazes. He wanted to become a singer, but initially worked as a bricklayer and subsequently ran a snack bar in the North Holland village of Sint Pancras.
Not until he was 36, he decided, after winning a talent show in the Amsterdam sex theater Casa Rosso, to look for an original repertoire that would distinguish him from Hazes and the other songs of life and song singers. By chance he came across songwriter and producer Peter de Wijn who had an unused number on the shelf: 'I tore up your photo'. That became his first hit in 1984 and remained his biggest.
More and more were followed, in which sadness about broken relationships predominated: 'Yesterday she left me', 'Why am I so alone at Christmas', 'I will sleep on the couch tonight'.
His career, however, seemed to be over when Alberts drove home after two performances in 1987, but lost control of his Mercedes 300SL and hit a tree. Only after an intensive rehabilitation period did he make his comeback as the singer in the wheelchair. Hits like 'Are you your eyes' and 'Once you come back' followed. The reverberation in his voice did reach a little less than before, but the Jordanian sentiment sounded just as credible.
In recent years, Koos Alberts has been acclaimed many times for his popular repertoire and perseverance. In 2001 he appeared in a commercial for Achmea, in which he seemed to be able to walk again through sophisticated video manipulation. He donated the fee (45,000 euros) to the study of paraplegia.
His son and his daughter-in-law now run the insurance office Koos Alberts Verzekeringen. "I know better than anyone why people have to insure themselves", said the namesake on his site.