Not long ago the world wouldn't have blinked when the German music industry handed out its Echo awards. But with stars like Anastacia and Pink gracing the stage, international audiences are starting to tune in to Berlin.
Robbie Williams picked up his second Echo for best international male artist.
After the Grammys and the Brits, Germany's Echo awards are the most important in the music industry. For the 13th year running, honors were handed out in 26 categories from best international singer and band to best folk musician and best national newcomer.
More than 4,000 guests turned out on Saturday for the gala event studded with star performances by Pink, Anastacia and Kylie Minogue. For American singer Anastacia, it was the first European show since recovering from cancer a year ago. The real highlight of the evening, however, was the German rock group "Wir sind Helden" (We're Heroes), which snatched up three awards as best new national radio act, best national newcomer overall and best new German video.
The German band "Wir sind Helden" won three awards for best new national act.
The Berlin band's record company, Labels, even received an award for best marketing of a group. In recognition of the honors, the group gave a spectacular performance of their hit song "Denkmal" (Monument).
The fans are to thank
Best national male vocal artist was Sasha, alias Dick Brave, who managed to beat out overnight "Germany Seeks the Superstar" sensation Daniel Küblböck.
Rising starlet Yvonne Catterfeld won best German female vocal performer. "I am really excited, I'm just glowing. The prize is always like getting something like feedback from the public," she said after the awards ceremony.
Indeed, the winners have only their fans to thank for an award at the Echos. Nominations are based on record sales in Germany for the past year.
With 13 years to look back on, the Echos have grown into a venue for big-name international acts. And even if Robbie Williams and Shania Twain -- voted best international male and female pop artists -- didn't show up personally to pick up their awards, their absence didn't dampen the mood among the invited guests.