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  3. Simone Johanna Maria Simons (born 17 January 1985) is a Dutch singer-songwriter. She is best known for being the lead singer of Dutch symphonic metal band Epica, which she joined at the age of seventeen, releasing eight studio albums and touring the world.

(NEXSTAR) — As athletes mark 100 days until the long-awaited 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Team USA’s standout gymnast Simone Biles is all smiles thinking about the delayed games finally arriving.

Simons in 2018 during a concert with Epica
Background information
Birth nameSimone Johanna Maria Simons
Born17 January 1985 (age 36)[1]
Hoensbroek, Heerlen, Netherlands
GenresSymphonic metal, classical music, progressive metal
Years active2002–present
Associated acts
Websitewww.epica.nlOfficial blog

Simone Johanna Maria Simons (born 17 January 1985)[2] is a Dutch singer-songwriter. She is best known for being the lead singer of Dutch symphonic metal band Epica, which she joined at the age of seventeen, releasing eight studio albums and touring the world. In her singing career, she has also collaborated with bands such as Kamelot, Leaves' Eyes, Primal Fear, Ayreon, and Angra. She also has a side pursuit as a lifestyle blogger, via her website SmoonStyle.[3]

Early life[edit]

Simone Simons with Epica live at Wacken Open Air 2018
Simone Simons performing with Epica live @ Revolution Live, Ft. Lauderdale

Simons was born in Hoensbroek, Netherlands. She has a younger sister named Janneke who was born on Simone's second birthday.[4] Simons cited her musical influences as Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, Tristania, Kamelot, Within Temptation, Dimmu Borgir, Tiamat, and some classical music such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.[citation needed]

Simons started playing flute for two years after joining music school at the age of 12.[5] At 14, she had one year of pop singing lessons, and at 15, she switched to classical singing after listening to Nightwish's Oceanborn,[6] which remains her favorite Nightwish album.[7] At one point she was invited to join in a rehearsal for a black metal band; she joined it, although was a little afraid to sing.[8] Simons sang in a choir for a few months, and later joined Epica at the age of 17.[9]


Simons performing with Epica in 2014

In early 2002, Mark Jansen left After Forever over creative differences. He then began looking for musicians who would work towards a more classical/symphonic type of music project; this was initially named 'Sahara Dust'.[10] In late 2002, the band courted Helena Michaelsen[10] (from Trail of Tears) as its frontwoman, but shortly after she was replaced by the then unknown Simons, who was Jansen's girlfriend at the time.

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Personal life[edit]

In January 2008, Simons was suffering from recurrent MRSA infections. This forced Epica to cancel many of their shows. In February, her condition improved, but she had not completely recovered. In March, Epica toured with Amanda Somerville, replacing Simons for their United States tour until 11 May 2008, when Simons performed again at their show in Bibelot, Dordrecht.[11]

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Asked about her looks as one of the factors that attract attention to Epica, Simons said: 'First of all the most important is the sound of the band, because beauty will fade one day, and I hope my voice won't [Laughs].. But, yeah, you have two aspects of the band – the music (the CD's) and then the live side of it (the show), and part of the show is also that it has to look nice, so I take good care of myself, I make sure that the fans have something to look at during the show.'[12]

Youtube ave maria vivaldi

Simons and long-time partner, Kamelot keyboard player Oliver Palotai have a son, Vincent Palotai, born on 2 October 2013.[13] In December 2013, Simons announced on her blog that she had recently married Palotai.[14] They reside in Stuttgart, Germany. In the past, she had a relationship with Mark Jansen; the relationship ended in 2005, shortly after the release of Consign to Oblivion.[15]

Simons runs a blog called 'SmoonStyle', where she writes about her fashion, makeup, food and experiences she has had as a member of Epica, as well as in her personal life.[3]


With Epica[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]

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  • Aina – Days of Rising Doom (2003)
  • Kamelot – The Black Halo in 'The Haunting (Somewhere in Time)' and appears in its video (2005)
  • Kamelot – One Cold Winter's Night in 'The Haunting (Somewhere in Time)' (2006)
  • Kamelot – Ghost Opera in 'Blücher' (2007)
  • Primal Fear – New Religion in 'Everytime It Rains' (2007)
  • Ayreon – 01011001 in 'Web of Lies' (2008)
  • Xystus & US Concert – Equilibrio in 'Act 1 – My Song of Creation', 'Act 2 – Destiny Unveiled' and 'Act 2 – God of Symmetry' (2008)
  • Sons of Seasons – Gods of Vermin in 'Fallen Family', 'Fall Of Byzanz' and 'Wintersmith' (2009)
  • Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned in 'House on a Hill', 'So Long', 'All Is Over' (2010)
  • MaYaN – Quarterpast in 'Symphony of Aggression', 'Mainstay of Society', 'Bite the Bullet', 'Drown the Demon' and 'Sinner's Last Retreat' (2011)
  • Sons of Seasons – Magnisphyricon in 'Sanctuary' (2011)
  • Avalon – Angels of the Apocalypse (2014)[16]
  • Angra – Secret Garden in 'Secret Garden' (2014)[17]
  • Countermove: The Power of Love (2014) Charity single for The Red Cross,[18] originally by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • Leaves' Eyes – King of Kings in 'Edge of Steel' (2015)
  • Ayreon – The Source as 'The Counselor' (2017)[19]
  • Exit Eden – Rhapsodies in Black in 'Frozen' and 'Skyfall' (2017)
  • Tarja Turunen – Feliz Navidad in 'Feliz Navidad' (2017) Charity version to help raise funds for Barbuda for Hurricane Irma relief,[20] originally by José Feliciano
  • Powerwolf – Sacred and Wild (2018)(with Epica). Featured on 'The Sacrament of Sin (Deluxe Version).'
  • Ayreon – Electric Castle Live and Other Tales as 'The Indian' (2020)[21]
  • Ayreon – Transitus as 'The Angel of Death' (2020)


  • Soaring Highs and Brutal Lows: The Voices of Women in Metal as Herself (2015)


  1. ^Simone Simons. Retrieved on 4 December 2011.
  2. ^'Simone Simons / Band / Epica'. 1 January 1985. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  3. ^ ab'SmoonStyle ❯ A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog by Simone Simons'. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  4. ^'Smoon's Snoepjes (Smoon's Candies)'. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  5. ^ 1 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^'Simone Simons – Official Website'. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  7. ^'Twitter / SimoneSimons: Fav NW album is 'Oceanborn''. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  8. ^'Simone Simons 3rd interview in'. Retrieved 10 September 2007.
  9. ^'Simone Simons : A New Age Dawns – Fã Clube Oficial Brasileiro do Epica'. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  10. ^ ab'Epica – Metal Storm'. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  11. ^[1]Archived 29 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^':: Metalist Magazine :: Interviews :: Epica – הקונספירציה חוזרת לישראל'. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  13. ^'Simone and Oliver have a little boy!'. 4 October 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  14. ^Simons, Simone (2 December 2013). 'Vrolijk Kerstfeest! ❯ SmoonStyle'. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  15. ^'Epica interview - Mark Jansen (part 2)'. YouTube. FaceCulture. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  16. ^'First singer for Avalon II revealed!'. Avalon 7 October 2013. Archived from the original on 24 October 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  17. ^'New Album 'Secret Garden' Announced By Angra'. Metal Underground. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  18. ^Countermove (8 December 2014), THE POWER OF LOVE DUTCH METAL FOR SERIOUS REQUEST 2014, retrieved 29 March 2018
  19. ^'Guest Musicians'. New Ayreon Album. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  20. ^theholographicalena (1 December 2017), TARJA – Feliz Navidad (Barbuda Relief and Recovery Charity Version), retrieved 29 March 2018
  21. ^'Electric Castle Live And Other Tales (2CD/DVD)'. 27 March 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2020.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Simone Simons.
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