Born in 1946 in Gronau, Westphalia, Udo Lindenberg is one of the most prominent and successful musicians and songwriters who have substantially influenced the formation and development of rock music in the German language. Lindenberg achieved cult status as early as the 1970s with music whose style shifted between rock, pop and ballads and which often dealt with socially-critical and political topics. In 1983 when Lindenberg used the melody of Glenn Miller’s hit ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’ from 1941 to create his own ‘Sonderzug nach Pankow’, this initiated a public dialogue with the GDR party leader and head of state Erich Honecker that was as unusual as it was bizarre and ultimately led to a public correspondence and the widely publicized exchange of a leather jacket for a shawm in 1987. The song itself was banned in the GDR and Lindenberg’s planned tour for his countless fans in the East of Germany was cancelled after a twenty-minute appearance at a peace rally in front of a hand-picked audience at the East Berlin Palast der Republik. The tour eventually took place in 1990.
His musical oeuvre has won numerous awards, including several Echoes, the Bambi, the Frankfurt Music Prize, the German Radio Prize, the Jacob Grimm Prize and the Golden Camera. Lindenberg has lived and worked in his chosen home of Hamburg for over 50 years.