The phenomenon of Helene Fischer

The singer Helene Fischer has breathed new life into German pop.

There is currently no way getting round Helene Fischer. Regardless whether you like her or not. For Fischer is a pop star of the superlative degree: the most googled singer in Germany and, according to a Playboy survey, German men’s dream woman. At the beginning of 2014, the market researchers at Media Control calculated that her Best of record is “the most successful German album of all time”. At the ceremonies of the German music award Echo, which after the Grammys and the Brit Awards is regarded as one of the biggest music prizes, she is regularly among the winners. The weekly newspaper Die Zeit called her “Germany’s golden throat”. And because she is so successful, the entertainer has been invited in 2014 to moderate the Echo gala for the second time.

Musical training in Frankfurt

How to explain the phenomenon of Helene Fischer, whose concerts, writes the Süddeutsche Zeitung, are attended by dudes in heavy leather jackets and screaming teenagers as well as by couples between 25 and 65? Fischer was born in 1984 in Siberia, the daughter of a Russian-German couple; while she was still a child her family moved to the Rhineland-Palatinate. After taking her intermediate school-leaving certificate, she then received training in music in Frankfurt am Main – studying dance, song and stage show from scratch. Her skill, her almost acrobatic perfection, makes up part of her fascination. The other part consists in her gift of reaching across the stage to every individual member of the audience, as if she were singing only for him. “Helene Fischer has an unbeatable charm”, exult concert critics. “Her performances remind you a little of Las Vegas, at least to German eyes and ears.”

Fischer has given sex appeal to German pop and its related television formats, which were long derided as entertainment for people from a bygone era. She appears in a glittery slit dress rather than a dirndl. On her own TV show in 2012, she brought nearly a million people under 50 to switch on their televisions. And those who didn’t do so to rub their eyes in amazement at her success.

Echo Award Ceremony, 27 March in Berlin