Jacott transitioned from musical theatre to popular music in 1993, when she represented the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest 1993. Her song, "Vrede" (Peace), was one of the favorites to win, and ended up ranking sixth out of 25 at Millstreet. She has since released nine Dutch-language albums, four of which made the Top Ten on the Dutch music charts.
Ruth Jacott was born in Suriname and at nine, moved with her family to The Netherlands, where at 17 she took part in a talent contest, after which she received many offers to perform. She dropped out of the Hilversum Conservatory and began her career with The Vips and bands like The Skymasters, the VARA-Dansorkest and the Metropole Orkest.
In 1988, Jacott won the Knokke Festival in Belgium. After this success she had many offers to work in the musical world. She landed key roles in Dutch and German-language productions of Cats and A Night At The Cotton Club, touring The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. In 1989 Jacott received the Zilveren Harp (Silver Harp) award. One year later she sang the duet "Tegyo Makandra" with Hans Vermeulen, in commemoration of a plane crash in Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname. The duet was also released after the 1992 crash of an El Al flight in the Bijlmer (southeast Amsterdam), and became a hit.
In 1993 her career took an important turn when she was asked to represent The Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Festival in Ireland. She received 92 points and ranked #6 with the song "Vrede" (Peace). The song's chorus stated:
"We bouwen huizen om orkanen te weerstaan (We build houses to survive hurricanes),
En maken schepen om met elke storm te varen (And construct ships that can weather any storm);
Er wordt gesleuteld aan een lamp die nooit kapot zal gaan (A lamp that never breaks is being built);
Het wil alleen ons niet zo lukken, om de vrede te bewaren (We just can't seem to manage to keep the peace)."
Her Dutch-language debut album Ruth Jacott appeared shortly afterwards. In July she had a big hit together with Paul de Leeuw with the duet "Blijf bij mij" (Stay with me). She sang this song solo during the Dutch heat of Eurovision. In Spring 1994 her second album "Hou me vast" (Hold me tight), came out and went double platinum in the Dutch market. In addition she collaborated on albums with Gerard Joling, René Froger and Oscar Harris. With the charity single Buseruka, written together with listeners of Dutch radio station 3FM, she was able to collect donations for UNICEF and Oxfam Novib projects in Rwanda.
Her third album "Geheimen" (Secrets) appeared in 1995 and went gold. She performed in shows in major Dutch theaters. With all the pressure she became exhausted and she needed to rest her voice. In February 1997 she was honored with a "Golden Harp" award. Two months later her album Hartslag (Heartbeat) was released. This also became a big success and she began another tour.
The compilation album Altijd Dichtbij (Always close) was released in 1998 and contained a selection of five years of hits. She sang the theme song of a Dutch film Kruimeltje.
In 2000 she was operated on her vocal cords. Once recovered she embarked on a new theater-tour. Her album Vals verlangen (False desire) went gold and in October she performed at Amsterdam's Carré Theater which was filmed by TV network RTL 4 and recorded for cd-release.
In 2002 the album Tastbaar (Tangible) was released and the single Onderhuids (Under my skin). Both were produced by Humphrey Campbell and the Dutch singing duo Fluitsma & Van Tijn. Two years later the duet Nu Is Het Over (Now it's over), with Mark Dakriet (Re-Play), was released.
In 2004, the compilation CD Het Beste Van Ruth Jacott' (The best of Ruth Jacott) was released.
In the 2005-06 Dutch theater season Ruth was again in Dutch theaters with her show A Touch of Latin in which she sang both in Dutch and Spanish, with some numbers reworked in a Latin style. By popular demand the tour was prolonged in It was so successful that a second tour followed in the 2006-07 season.
In 2008 Jacott played the title role in the musical Billie Holiday, about the legendary African American singer. Arrangements by Glenn Gaddum sr, he was also the musical director and pianist. Her performance was well received by both the critics and the public. On 2 June 2008 she received the Dutch Musical Award for "Best Female Lead in a Small Musical".
In December 2008 Ruth appeared with her own Christmas show, which was also well received.
On 23 March 2009 the single Jammer, maar helaas (Too bad) was released from her Latin double-cd Passie (Passion) which followed on 20 April 2009. CD 1 contained the original-language versions and CD 2 the Dutch-language versions. Passie was promoted with another theater-tour starting autumn 2009-theater.
In 2010 Jacott was a guest at the "Toppers" concert in the Amsterdam ArenA, where a quartet of well-known Dutch-language pop singers perform a high-camp show and where other top Dutch musical starts appear as special guests.
In June 2010 Jacott climbed Alpe d'Huez for the Radio 2 team on Radio 2's evening commute show "Knooppunt Kranenbarg" (Kranenbarg Junction).
Starting in February 2011 Jacott can be seen in her one-woman show Simply the Best, in which she performs songs from her heroines of days gone by, and tells her life story in between the songs, written by Frank Houtappels, arrangements by Glenn Gaddum sr MD/pianist.
On 4 October she released a new single duet with Edsilia Rombley, called "Uit Het Oog, Niet Uit Mijn Hart".
In 2010 Jacott played a supporting role in 't Spaanse Schaep (The Spanish Sheep) as Jopie Vrijman. In 2016 she participated in the song-exchange-programme Ali B op volle toeren; Jacott was paired to rapper I Am Aisha (daughter of Mai Tai-singer Jetty Weels who also appeared in the episode) who reworked Vrede.