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BOOK: Nina Hagen:
That's Why the Lady is a Punk

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German Music:

Nina Hagen

Music style: Pop
Dates: born 1955 in East Berlin

From an early age, Catherina "Nina" Hagen aspired to follow in the footsteps of her actress mother Eva Maria Hagen. When the East German teenager was not admitted to acting school in 1972 -- presumably because her stepfather, balladeer Wolf Biermann, had made himself a name as an open critic of the East German socialist regime -- she instead completed a one-year training program in singing.

When Nina's mother protested the explusion of her husband from East Germany in 1976, she was dismissed from her job and was likewise expatriated. Nina and her mother thus followed Biermann to the West in 1977, and in the same year she founded the Nina Hagen Band. The group recorded two albums together, The Nina Hagen Band (1978) and Unbehagen (1979), before going their separate ways. The albums were a hit in the German alternative scene, the songs "TV Glotzer" and "African Reggae" were especially well received.

Her first English-language album, NunSexMonkRock, was a flop. But even more than with her anti-establishment music, Nina Hagen has continually drawn attention to herself with her unconventional views and news-making activities. From her UFO theories, her interest in Buddhism, and her active engagement in animal rights issues to her fleeting marriage to a 17-year-old punk rocker and her temporary name change to Haidakhani Shivani, Hagen never fails to turn heads.

While her eccentricity sometimes overshadows her music, her undeniable talent is evident in her numerous albums as well as in the company that she keeps. She has worked on projects with Thomas D. from Die fantastischen Vier, and the bands Oomph! and Apocalyptica. Recent successes on these collaborative projects have forced the German public to take serious notice of her extraordinary musical talent. Her vocal expressiveness, creativity and musical adaptability have enabled her to work on numerous collaborations over the years. Her voice can be heard on some 500 CDs.

Nina Hagen CDs

Irgendwo auf der Welt (2006) | LISTEN
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Big Band Explosion (2003) || LISTEN
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Return of the Mother (2003) || LISTEN
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Om Namah Shivay (1999) || LISTEN
Previously available as an Internet-only release to provide aid to a languishing hospice in Cologne and other charities. Features Indian songs and includes a bonus CD.
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Beehappy (1996) |
The English version of Freud Euch.
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Freud Euch (1995) |
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Revolution Ballroom (1993) |
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Street (1991) |
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Nina Hagen (1989) || LISTEN
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  In Ekstasy (1985)
The English version of In Ekstase.
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In Ekstase (1985) | LISTEN
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NunSexMonkRock (1981) || LISTEN
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Unbehagen (1979) || LISTEN
Buy CD at AMAZON  

Nina Hagen Band (1978) || LISTEN
Buy CD at AMAZON  


Interesting Facts About Nina Hagen
• On the 100th anniversary of East German icon Bertolt Brecht's birth, Nina Hagen recorded a CD of his and Kurt Weill's Dreigroschenoper (Threepenny Opera) with Max Raabe and the Ensemble Modern orchestra.

• Nina Hagen has lived on and off in Los Angeles since 1980. Her daughter was born there.

Nina Hagen Weblinks

Das Nina Hagen-Archiv [German] - Webpage with an interesting collection of info about the punk singer
Nina Hagen Fanpage [German] - Fan webpage with bio, music, links

BACK to INDEX of Contemporary German Music Artists


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