From Boney M. to Rammstein: pop and rock from Germany

America invented rock’n’roll, England gave us beat music. But Germany too has played its part in shaping the history of pop and rock. Psychedelic krautrock became a byword for German music in the 1970s and 'Munich Disco' enriched the dance-pop scene and paved the way for techno. Punk, hardrock and electronica from Germany are also popular around the world.

When 19-year-old student Lena Meyer-Landrut won the European Song Contest with Satellite in Oslo in summer 2010, she captured the whole of Europe's hearts. As well as in Germany, the song shot to number one in the charts in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Switzerland.

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It was a two-man band: Dieter Bohlen, the composer, lyricist, musician and singer, and Thomas Anders, the lead singer with the high voice. They sold more than 100 million copies of their catchy dance pop songs with a computerised beat.

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Nena's massive hit 99 Luftballons (1983) was a catchy peace song protest against the deployment of Pershing-II missiles. Good fortune meant that Nena's song reached the USA and, after being released as 99 Red Balloons, it went to the number one spot even in Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia and the UK.

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Rammstein's brute-force vocals, totalitarian look and provocative texts about power and sex are always sources of controversy. All their albums since 1997 have reached number one in the German charts.

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They're masters of the rock power ballad, and their songs like Still Loving You, Send Me An Angel and most notably Wind Of Change were worldwide hits. The Scorpions' album Love At First Sting (1984) even went triple platinum in the USA.

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Tangerine Dream's wistful, meditative synthesiser sounds inspire the imagination. For many years, the group has also provided hypnotic soundtracks for hit films such as Risky Business and Legend (both featuring Tom Cruise).

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Identical twins Bill and Tom Kaulitz were not even twelve years old when they formed their band in Magdeburg in 2001. Four years later Tokio Hotel had their first number one hit in Germany – with the song Durch den Monsun.

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Xavier Naidoo's soul vocals, cool look and positive messages have made him an important voice in German pop. Since the album Nicht von dieser Welt (1998) all of his studio albums have reached number one in the German charts.

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