Taco gained international stardom when in 1982 he recorded a distinctive cover record of the old Irving Berlin favorite, Puttin' on the Ritz in Germany, which made him famous early the next year (United States Billboard chart number 4). It has been reported that he did not speak any English at all and merely read the lyrics from transliterations, but this is false: Taco speaks English and almost always performed in English. He also speaks German, having recorded a couple of songs ("Träume brauchen Zeit" and "Blauer Vogel, steig!") for German Eurovision in 1981. He is also a speaker of Dutch and French.
Taco was born to a Dutch couple in Jakarta (On a side note, Indonesia was once a Dutch colony). Prior to his worldwide hit with Puttin' on the Ritz, he fronted a Berlin-based band called Taco's Bizz. Their niche was performing Depression-era oldies in a more contemporary style, and soon Taco was courted by record labels to release a solo single. Puttin' on the Ritz gained so much attention that an entire album was funded by RCA Records. Both the album and the single were hits in Europe, and thanks to a popular MTV video for Puttin' on the Ritz, the single and the album became hits in America as well, selling over 500,000 copies of Taco's 1982 debut album After Eight.
A follow-up album, Let's Face The Music, was recorded in 1984 for RCA, but it failed to recreate Taco's initial success, and he vanished from the American market immediately thereafter. Taco continued to record, however, focusing mostly on the German market with albums Swing Classics/In The Mood Of Glenn Miller in 1985 and Tell Me That You Like It in 1986 for Polydor. In 1987 he recorded the self-titled album Taco. In 1989 he briefly flirted with contemporary dance music by releasing a pair of singles, Love Touch and Got To Be Your Lover, that were blatantly styled after the high energy disco sound popularized by Stock Aitken Waterman. Afterwards he repositioned himself as a swing/soul singer. He has collaborated with Geff Harrison of Kin Ping Meh fame.
He currently resides in Germany, occasionally performing in Berlin and recording.
He has been referenced on the TV show The Simpsons. Episode BABF19, "Behind the Laughter", features Willie Nelson saying, "Thank you, Taco, for that loving tribute to Falco", as well as the end of the tribute itself. Recently, Taco was referenced in an episode of The Venture Bros. in describing Klaus Nomi's tuxedo attire.