Dutch YouTube star scores music deal

Thu Mar 8, 2007 2:44pm EST

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NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - YouTube continues to attract attention from the labels, managers and aspiring artists.

Billy Mann -- a songwriter who has composed hits for Pink and Jessica Simpson -- trekked to the Dutch village of Oosterbeek to sign 18-year-old YouTube sweetheart Esmee Denters. Using an old, low-tech webcam, she recorded karaoke videos that have been streamed more than 8 million times.

She has been in the studio with Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland and is fielding TV deals. The major labels are dying to add her to their roster, but Denters and Mann might have other plans.

"We may decide not to sign with a label," Denters says. "I've already accomplished so much on my own. We'd like to see what we can do with that."

(Tamara Conniff is executive editor/associate publisher at Billboard)

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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