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DJ Ötzi was born Gerhard Friedle in St. Johann in Tirol, where he was raised by foster parents and later by his grandmother. An epileptic, Friedle claims that when he was an adolescent, reading Joseph Murphy's book The Power of Positive Thinking gave his life a new direction.

He first appeared on the stage as an amateur karaoke singer in his native Tyrol. Shortly after the start of his career as a singer, he was diagnosed as having cancer. However, his popularity increased, and has transcended the narrow boundaries of Austria. Two of his hits are "Anton aus Tirol" and "Hey Baby", a cover version of Bruce Channel's 1962 song.

In 2001 he married and the year after, his daughter Lisa-Marie was born. She was named after Elvis Presley's daughter.

He released a cover version of "A ram sam sam", called the "Burger Dance", which peaked #1 in Germany and #3 in Austria.

In 2006 he found success with the Volksmusik-hit "Sieben Sünden", which was #2 in Austria and "I Am The Music Man" under the pseudonym DJ Ötzi Junior, which peaked #1 in Japan.

His birthplace of Ötz in the Ötztal valley was the inspiration for Friedle's stage name.

He is one of the most successful Austrian musicians (sold ~15 million copies), next to Falco (sold ~60 million copies) and Peter Alexander.

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