Udo Jürgens (born Udo Jürgen Bockelmann; 30 September 1934 – 21 December 2014) was an Austrian-Swiss composer and singer of popular music whose career spanned over fifty years. He won the Eurovision Song Contest 1966 for Austria, composed close to 1,000 songs, and sold over 100 million records. In 2007 he additionally obtained Swiss citizenship.
He is credited with broadening German-language pop music beyond the traditional postwar "Schlager" (hit song) in the 1950s by infusing it with a modern pop appeal and French chanson style. His compositions and arrangements attracted fans of all ages. Until his death at age 80 he continued to fill venues in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
In 1952 Udo Bolan, as he was called then, formed the Udo Bolan Quartet In Klagenfurt, Austria appearing regularly at the Café Obelisk in Klagenfurt with Englishman Johnny Richards on drums, Klaus Behmel on guitar and Bruno Geiger on Bass. Read more
The quartet played regularly at various dance and jazz venues and also broadcast on Radio Alpenland and the British Forces Radio network produced by Mike Fior.
In 1950, he won a composer contest organized by Austria's public broadcasting channel ORF with the song "Je t'aime". He wrote the 1961 worldwide hit "Reach for the Stars", sung by Shirley Bassey.
In 1964, he represented Austria for the first time at the Eurovision Song Contest 1964 with the song "Warum nur, warum[/trackUdo Jürgens]?", finishing sixth. The UK participant, Matt Monro, was impressed with the melody and covered the song (with English lyrics by his manager Don Black) as "Walk Away," which reached number four in the UK Singles Chart and number 23 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Jürgens' song "Sag ihr, ich lass sie grüßen" came fourth in 1965's contest, and on his third try he won the Eurovision Song Contest 1966 in Luxembourg with "Merci, Chérie", which became an English-language hit for Vince Hill, another cover by Monro, and one of Jürgens' most recognized compositions. Jürgens' version alone sold over one million copies, and he was awarded a gold disc by Deutsche Vogue in 1966.
In the following years, he wrote the songs, like "Griechischer Wein", "Aber bitte mit Sahne", "Mit 66 Jahren", and — one of his biggest successes — "Buenos Días, Argentina", which he performed together with the Germany national football team in 1978.
In 1977, he invited The Supremes to appear as guests on his televised and recorded gala concert. The Supremes (Mary Wilson, Scherrie Payne, and Susaye Green), who were on a brief farewell tour of Europe at the time, performed two of their own hits, "You Are the Heart of Me" and "You're My Driving Wheel", as well as a duet with Jürgens' "Walk Away" in English.
In 1979, he released a disco album entitled Udo '80. It produced a hit song "Ich weiß was ich will". This song was also released as a 12 inch disco single in an extended remix for discothèques.
On 2 December 2007, the jukebox musical "Ich war noch niemals in New York" ("I've never been to New York") opened in Hamburg's Operettenhaus. It weaves songs by Jürgens into a familial storyline, similar to the treatment of ABBA songs in "Mamma Mia!", the musical it succeeded at the venue.
Since 2015, Udo Jürgens holds the worldwide-record as the artist with the longest presence in the charts ever - more than 57 years from his first entry 1958 till 2015.
On 21 December 2014, Jürgens died of acute heart failure in Münsterlingen, Switzerland at the age of 80. With Austria's success at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, the first since Jürgens' success in 1966, Jürgens expressed his interest in performing in the interval of the next contest. With his death, the organisers of the 2015 contest in Vienna paid tribute to him with a tribute day on 20 May and a tribute act at the beginning of the Grand Final.
1965 Portrait in Musik
1966 Françoise und Udo
1967 Was ich dir sagen will
1967 Portrait in Musik II
1968 Udo Jürgens
1968 Mein Lied für dich
1969 Portrait International
1969 Udo '70
1970 Udo '71
1971 So weit die Züge geh'n
1971 Jonny & Jenny
1972 Ich bin wieder da
1973 Es ist Zeit für die Liebe
1973 International 2
1973 Jonny & Jenny - Alle Kinder dieser Welt
1973 New World of Udo Jürgens
1974 Udo heute
1974 Meine Lieder
1975 Griechischer Wein - Seine neuen Lieder
1975 Griechischer Wein
1975 Udo '75 - Ein neuer Morgen
1976 Meine Lieder 2
1977 Meine Lieder '77
1977 Lieder, die auf Reisen gehen
1978 Buenos dias, Argentina
1978 Nur ein Lächeln
1979 Die Blumen blüh'n überall gleich
1979 Udo '80
1981 Willkommen in meinem Leben
1981 Leave a Little Love
1988 Das blaue Album
1989 Ohne Maske
1990 Sempre Roma
1993 Café Größenwahn
1995 Zärtlicher Chaot
1999 Ich werde da sein
2002 Es lebe das Laster
2005 Jetzt oder nie
2008 Einfach ich
2011 Der ganz normale Wahnsinn
2014 Mitten im Leben Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.