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Falco

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Biography

Vienna, Austria (1974 – 1998)

Johann (Hans) Hölzel (19 February 1957 – 6 February 1998), better known by his stage name Falco, was an Austrian rap, pop and rock musician and had four #1 Hits - “Der Kommissar”, “Rock Me Amadeus”, “Jeanny” and “Coming Home (Jeanny Part 2, Ein Jahr danach)”.

He is the only artist to score a #1 Hit in the U.S. with a German language song, and his albums and singles have sold about 60 million copies worldwide.


Early Years

Born in Vienna, studying at the Vienna Music Conservatory in 1977 which he left after one semester to pursue a career in music, he lived for a short time in West Berlin while singing in a jazz-rock band. When he returned to Vienna he was calling himself “Falco,” reportedly in tribute to the East German ski jumper Falko Weißpflog, and playing in the Austrian bands Spinning Wheel and Hallucination Company. En route to becoming an international rock star in his own right, he was bass player in the Austrian hard rock-punk rock band Drahdiwaberl (from 1978 until 1983). With Drahdiwaberl he wrote and performed the song “Ganz Wien” which he would also include on his debut solo album Einzelhaft.


Individual success

Falco’s first hit was “Der Kommissar” from the 1982 album Einzelhaft. A German language song about drug consumption that combines rap verses with a sung chorus, Falco’s record was a number-one success in many countries but failed to break big in the U.S. The song, however, would prove to have a life of its own in two English-language versions.

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