Die Prinzen – Millionär
With 14 gold records, six platinums, and over five million recordings sold, Die Prinzen (The Princes) are one of Germany’s top-selling pop bands of all time. They are also one of the first bands from the former East Germany that after the fall of the wall in 1989 found a huge listening audience in West Germany.
Before they became Die Prinzen, most of the group's members were in the choir of Thomanerchor at the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church) in Leipzig, an illustrious training ground for singers with a storied past. The choir was founded in 1212 and Johann Sebastian Bach worked here as music director from 1723-1750. So it comes as no surprise that the band started out specializing in a-cappella music (singing without instrumental accompaniment).
In 1991 Die Prinzen had their first big hits. The single “Gabi und Klaus” sold close to 500,000 copies, the album “Das Leben ist grausam” and the single “Millionär” more than a million copies. The lyrics of their songs were witty and satiric, with tongue-in-cheek criticism of the German government and German society.
In later albums the band added more rock music elements and even an instrumental techno sound to their voices. In 2002, on the occasion of the World Cup, the band released the single “Olli Kahn”, a hymn to Germany's star goalie Oliver Kahn.
The band has done concert tours in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Luxembourg but it took until 2006 that their first live album was put out. In 2010 Die Prinzen celebrated their 20-year anniversary with the release of the album “Es war nicht alles schlecht” (Not Everything was Bad), a somewhat nostalgic look back on their youth in East Germany.