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Culture

Singer David Hasselhoff startles Germany with comeback news

TV celebrity and singer David Hasselhoff announced his Germany tour and discussed his autobiography at a Berlin press conference, surprising journalists with his openness about his alcoholism and Internet blunders.

Actor David Hasselhoff

David Hasselhoff has big plans for 2011

Germans have always had a peculiar penchant for US star David Hasselhoff - one that is marked by both endearment and irony.

This week, journalists flocked around "The Hoff" when, at a Berlin press conference, he announced he would be giving major concerts in Germany beginning in February 2011. His daughters, Taylor Ann and Hayley Amber, aka pop duo "Bella Vida," are to accompany him on tour.

Hasselhoff had already laid the groundwork for his musical comeback when he appeared on "Musikantenstadl" - a popular German-Swiss-Austrian folk music production - this past spring. This month, he's traveling around Germany promoting the upcoming tour.

Discovering during a radio interview in July with German broadcaster SWR1 that his German roots are not near Kassel in the heart of the country, as he had thought, but in Bremen further north, he endeared audiences in Germany by claiming the news was "the best present" he'd ever received.

The broadcaster had commissioned a German researcher to look into the American celebrity's ancestry. According to news agency AFP, the singer had orginally intended to buy property in Hasselhof, a town similarly written to the star's last name and located near Kassel.

Making a splash

Hasselhoff with Baywatch crowd

Hasselhoff (center back) was the hunk in the popular "Baywatch" TV show

During the Berlin press conference on Wednesday, however, "Knight Rider" and "Baywatch" hunk Hasselhoff revealed some of his darker side when he spoke openly about elements in his recent autobiography, "Making Waves." He said dealing with his alcoholism was a "daily struggle," and was frank when he admitted that writing the autobiography was "like therapy."

Hasselhoff had reaped scorn when he appeared on MTV's European Music Awards in Berlin last year and slurred the words of his laudation. An Internet video also showed him trying to munch a hamburger while more than a little under the influence, news magazine Stern noted.

The 58-year-old made a splash over 20 years ago in Germany, recording an English-language cover version of the 1970's German hit "Auf der Strasse nach Sueden," calling it "Looking for Freedom."

It scaled the German charts quickly, just as a new tide of revolution began rolling through Eastern Europe, culminating in the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. Hasselhoff helped East and West Germans celebrate together on New Year's Eve that year for the first time in decades when he sang his "Looking for Freedom" hit at the Brandenburg Gate.

Author: Louisa Schaefer (dpa/afp)
Editor: Kate Bowen

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