Heinz Carl Heinrich Winckler was born in Stellenbosch, South Africa, on 22 March 1978, the now 28 year old Heinz Winckler has come a long way since he studied law at Stellenbosch University. He burst onto South African TV screens winning the first South African M-Net Idols competition (the equivalent of American Idol) in June 2002 & a major recording contract with Sony BMG Records. He twice performed his debut single, "Once In A Lifetime" to a 500-strong live audience & millions of television viewers. Walt Disney employed his talent to perform one of the credit songs, “Chasing Shadows” for the movie “Treasure Planet”. Success of the movie was attributed to Heinz’s performance & was a hit on the S.A market, grossing over R3 million in the first weekend.
2004 saw Heinz break into the international market by performing & traveling to the USA, U.K & Canada. As part of the 10 year celebrations in SA he performed at Ukkasie, held at the Royal Albert Hall, London and went on to take the lead role of Tony, in a community stage production of West Side Story, Toronto, Canada.
His second album, “Come Alive” (produced by Marius Brouwer), was released September 2004 and has silenced many of his critics. The first radio single off this brilliantly produced, mature pop album, ‘Can’t Lose With You’ has reached #1 on many S.A radio stations. The second single off the album was a track that was co-written by Heinz. ‘Drowning Me’ performed well on national and regional stations. Both of these singles have been added onto the very popular NOW compilation albums (38 and 39 respectively). “Come Alive” was nominated for a South African Music Award (SAMA) in April 2005 in the Best Pop Album category. The third and fourth radio singles, ‘Only For You’ and ‘Thank You’, once again raced up the South African radio charts. Recently Heinz was asked to support Westlife on their Greatest Hits tour to South Africa. Accompanied by his 5 piece band, Heinz rocked the cities of Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Johannesburg, playing to about 40 000 people in just 6 days! In Johannesburg alone the audience was 18 000 people strong.
Heinz describes this experience as “the highlight of his career!”
The first ever World Idol that took place in December 2003 – January 2004 in London and saw Heinz gaining 4th place, beating Will Young from the UK, and voted 2nd place by the American public. Within one week of the show being aired his CD was unobtainable due to phenomenal sales.
His debut CD single 'Once In A Lifetime', went double platinum, making it an instant smash hit, with over 51 000 copies initially sold. In 2003 he was nominated for 2 SAMA’s (South African Music Awards) for best single, ‘Once in a Lifetime’ & best pop album, ‘One Step Closer’. Gold sales status for a single is 10 000 plus units, with platinum being awarded for over 25 000 units sold.
"The past few years have been an incredible learning curve and growth period for me on many levels and I have been privileged to work with the finest in the industry on both sides of the Atlantic. The theory of clear planning whilst supported by an excellent team of people is paramount. It was a huge step to take when I decided to put my law studies aside but I believe that I made the right decision to follow this passion for music.” he says.
He's been declared one of South Africa's sexiest males & is included in the 2003 Cosmopolitan magazine's Sexiest Men calendar, the photos for the calendar as well as for Heinz’s debut album prove his pin-up appeal! He has the guy next door looks, dubbed ‘Hunky Heinz’ & the formidable talent to back it up.
More recently Heinz was engaged to be married to Alette de Klerk. They are set to be married in September, following the much anticipated release of his third studio album for SonyBMG, ‘Moment of Truth’. The first single, ‘Another Day’, has already been well received by South African radio. Penned by one of Heinz’s international collaborators, Matt Marston, the man responsible for the hit ‘Can’t lose With You’, this song is set to race up the charts again. A lot of the material on ‘Moment of Truth’ has been influenced by recent developments in Heinz’s personal life.
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