15-year-old Emma Kok dreams of being a singer and is well on her way after showing remarkable poise and stunning vocals while singing for André Rieu at a huge concert in The Netherlands. While introducing the song, Rieu said that Emma has a “rare but terrible disease – her stomach is paralyzed”, meaning that she cannot eat and has to gain nutrients through a tube going directly into her stomach.
However, Rieu said that Emma was determined to follow her dream despite this hardship and praised her “beautiful voice”. That one of a kind voice was on full display with Emma’s performance of Barbara Pravi’s song “Voilà”, where she wowed the crowd with her smooth, angelic voice. The video on André Rieu’s channel, which you can watch below, has already been viewed 11 million times since its upload earlier this month.
Despite being still in high school, Emma displays a rare grace onstage and sings like a top flight professional. “Voilà” is also an excellent choice to display her considerable vocal skills. Pop fans may recognize the song as France’s entry into the 2021 Eurovision song contest, where it placed second.
It’s not the first time Emma has won the audience’s heart on the big stage, as she won The Voice Kids Netherlands as a 12-year-old in 2021. For her blind audition she performed “Warrior” by Demi Lovato, turning all four chairs, as you can watch below. If you can get through her performance of the song with completely dry eyes then hats off to you because it’s definitely a tear-jerker.
There’s something about the raw emotion and honesty that Emma puts into her performances that gets a big reaction from listeners, which is seen plainly on the faces of audience members in the first video.
Fans listening at home also couldn’t get enough of her powerful voice, with comments like “her story brought tears in my eyes; her voice gave me goosebumps. What an outstanding singer” and “The emotion she put in, her angelic and strong voice, her charisma and the impossible musical notes she reached until the very end made her performance even better than the original singer.”
Dutch violinist and classical star André Rieu showed off a rare eye for talent by including her at his hometown concert in Vrijthof square, Maastricht, where thousands of fans could hear her unique voice. Rieu and the Kok family have quite a connection, as Emma’s brother, violin prodigy Enzo Kok, has also previously performed onstage with Rieu as a youngster.
Emma has big aspirations, and not just as a singer. When she won the SBS TV program Ministars, she used her €25,000 prize money to set up the Gastrostars Foundation, a charity to raise awareness about gastric paralysis, which is the condition she was diagnosed with at the age of 10. She is also the ambassador for the Children’s Research Fund Limburg, which fundraises for scientific research by the Department of Pediatrics at Maastricht UMC+. If you would like to see more from Emma Kok, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel or follow them on Facebook.