What will be The nation’s top 5?

After a public vote, music legends are presented with fresh interpretations of their greatest hits in all-new entertainment celebration THE PEOPLE’S PLAYLIST. Dave Heuten, MD of Fremantle, Belgium, talks to Toby Earle.

After years of playing in front of adoring fans, superstar rock and pop icons experience a concert unlike any in their career in a night of magical memories and sensational performances.

The music legends are still under the spotlight, but this time as VIP guests for unforgettable renditions of their five top songs as voted by the nation, and performed in their own unique style by contemporary stars.

This revealing and original entertainment show launched on Belgium’s VTM this summer, showcasing a succession of music legends and their most popular hits at the historic Brussels concert hall Ancienne Belgique.

THE PEOPLE’S PLAYLIST is not only a tribute to iconic artists, but also a tribute to music and what music means to us all,” says Dave.

After a time when concerts have been missing from our lives, this celebration of the power of music couldn’t be more welcome.

The VIP has no idea which songs are on the set list or which artist is going to perform them, while the acts themselves don’t know where the song they’ll be singing features in the top five. “They all want to be the best performance of the night,” says Dave. “As it’s a tribute to someone they admire, these acts worked really hard. It wasn’t a walk in the park for them, because it’s tough to put your personality into a song you haven’t written.”

THE PEOPLE’S PLAYLIST’s celebration of creativity is evident in the diversity of artists it covers, as well as the demands it places on the performers’ individual interpretations.

One striking episode centres on the feel-good electro beats of international DJs Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike. “They asked us, ‘How are you going to cover our songs? They’re electronic – it’s not possible’,” laughs Dave. “So we asked a famous opera singer to cover one of their songs. They were really quite impressed.”

In between these original interpretations, the icon’s friends and family share personal stories whilst fans across the generations all have their say in the Vox Box, a mobile recording booth that tours the nation gathering people’s views on their favourite songs whilst sharing what the music means to them.

“They all had really emotional stories. It’s not the rhythm which determines your favourite, it’s a period in your life and the story connected to that song.”

Following the hugely successful launch, Dave is convinced the show’s combination of a nationwide vote, unique music performances and intimate portrait of a star, all set in a celebrated music venue, is set to be a global hit.

THE PEOPLE’S PLAYLIST is scalable, adaptable, and if Belgium can find superstars and produce a show like this, it should be possible elsewhere. We have a good chance to, not conquer the world, but come close to it.”

Want to hear more? Then watch the video below.

THE PEOPLE’S PLAYLIST is not only a tribute to iconic artists, but also a tribute to music and what music means to us all.” - Dave Heuten, Fremantle, Belgium