Herbert Grönemeyer Bookmark and Share


12 April 1956

Born as Herbert Arthur Wiglev Clamor Grönemeyer the interest in music was sparked at the age of eight, when he started to take piano classes. These later formed the basis for his work as a pianist and composer at the local theatre Schauspielhaus Bochum. Although never having attended an acting school he soon appeared in several TV productions. During one of the shootings he met his later wife, the actress Anna Henkel. Additionally, Grönemeyer published an album he had recorded with the jazz formation 'Ocean Orchestra' in 1978. His first solo album 'Grönemeyer', which was published in 1979 was awarded the Golden Lemon for the ugliest album cover of the year. His second album 'Zwo' was released in 1981. Both didn’t manage to chart. In the same year he starred in Wolfgang Petersen’s successful movie 'Das Boot' as Lieutnant Werner. For the role of composer Robert Schumann in the German-German coproduction 'Fruehlingssinfonie' (co-starring Nastassja Kinski and Rolf Hoppe) Grönemeyer spent six months in the GDR. During the early 1980s Grönemeyer put his main focus on his music, but also the next two albums 'Total egal' (1982) and 'Gemischte Gefuehle' (1983) flopped and most concerts of the planned tour had to be cancelled.

Grönemeyers first flirtation with success as a musician came in 1984 with the release of '4630 Bochum', which became the best-sold album in Germany that year, particularly supported by the hit single 'Männer'. A year later Grönemeyer appeared in the Deutz-movie 'Väter und Söhne', co-starring Julie Christie, Burt Lancaster and Bruno Ganz. In his next albums 'Spruenge' (1986) and 'Oe' (1988) he increasingly expressed his political opinion, thereby criticising the government under German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. In 1986 Grönemeyer performed at the Anti-WAAhnsinns-Festival against nuclear power. The release of his first English album 'What’s all this' was followed by a tour through Canada, where it had placed in the charts. After the Berlin Wall had fallen Grönemeyer released the album 'Luxus', in which he addressed the feelings in East and West Germany. Having two children together, Felix and Marie, he married his companion Anna Henkel in 1993. In the same year 'Chaos' was released and became a Top 1 hit record in Germany. More than 600.000 people saw the following tour. In 1994, Grönemeyer was the first non-English-speaking artist who was invited by MTV to do an unplugged concert. Four years later Grönemeyer moved to London and released 'Bleibt alles anders'. He also founded his own record label 'Groenland records' In the same year his brother Wilhelm and his wife Anna died of cancer (both dying within 3 days), it took Grönemeyer a year to resume his work. In 2000 he recorded a concert with a philharmonic orchestra and released the DVD 'Stand der Dinge'. In August 2002 he released his so far most successful album 'Mensch', which was awarded Platinum even before release due to advance orders. The single 'Mensch' became Grönemeyer’s first number one hit in Germany and 1.5 million people saw the 2 years-lasting tour. In 2004 and 2006 Grönemeyer recorded songs for the Olympic Games in Athens ('Everlasting') and the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany ('Zeit dass sich was dreht').

In March 2007 he released his 12th studio album '12', which was followed by a stadium tour across German-speaking countries. Smaller concerts took place in September in Amsterdam, Munich, Dresden and London's famous Royal Albert Hall.

The three re-recorded albums 'What's all this', 'Luxus' and 'Chaos' for the English-speaking market were met with limited sales success. Grönemeyer was scheduled to make his American debut on September 17, 2007 at the Beacon Theater in New York City, but the performance has since been postponed. Time Magazine awarded him the title of 'European Hero' in 2005 for his humanitarian work. In 2010 he delivers the themesong for the movie 'The American', a songs which is also featured on his 2011 album.

On the web:

- Herbert´s website: http://www.groenemeyer.de

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Bløf (Holland)

What do we think:

DB: German artists sometimes take themselves a bit too serious. But if you make music like this who cares. Personally I think his eighties work is somewhat to clean produced, and therefore not so exciting. Millions of albums sold prove me wrong though. Apparently a big personal drama was necessary to make is coup de grace with 'Mensch'. A German masterpiece.

PR: Sure, there are other much better looking guys, but hey, Herbert has charisma! His carreer followed a path that was not paved with roses, but in the end he has become a huge pop star and actor. He is one of the best examples of europopmusic in Germany.


Grönemeyer - 1979

♪♪ - Zwo - 1980

♪♪♪- Total Egal - 1982

♪♪ - Gemischte Gefühle - 1983

♪♪♪♪ - 4630 Bochum - 1984

♪♪♪ - Sprunge - 1986

♪♪♪ - Ö - 1988

♪♪♪ - Luxus - 1990

Chaos - 1993

Cosmic Chaos - 1994

Live - 1995

Unplugged - 1995

♪♪♪♪ - Bleibt alles anders - 1998

Stand der Dinge - 2000

♪♪♪♪♪- Mensch- 2002

♪♪♪♪ - Zwölf - 2007

♪♪♪ - Schiffsverkehr - 2011

♪♪♪ - Dauernd Jetzt - 2014

♪♪♪ - Tumult - 2018

Further listening:

Ocean Orchestra - 1978;

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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