Germany celebrates ECHO Awards in Berlin | News | DW | 21.03.2013
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Germany celebrates ECHO Awards in Berlin

Germany's ECHO Awards have taken place in Berlin to celebrate the best of German music. The Dusseldorf punk band Die Toten Hosen took out the prize for Best German Rock/Pop Group.

As host, pop star Helene Fischer kicked off the show introducing some of the night's most anticipated guests and acts.

A tradition of the German music industry since 1992, the nominations for the ECHO awards are derived from album sales and placement on the music charts. This year, 27 categories were awarded. The organizer of the event was the German Phono Academy, the cultural institute of the Federal Association of Music Industry.

Die Toten Hosen, one of Germany's most internationally recognized groups, were nominated in seven categories. Early on they won Best German Rock/Pop Group (pictured above).

Best German Female Artist went to Afro-German singer Ivy Quainoo. In February 2012, she won the first season of the reality show, The Voice of Germany.

Audiences enjoyed performances by Die Toten Hosen, the former First Lady of France Carla Bruni and British electronic band Depeche Mode. Cascada, which is set to represent Germany for the 2013 Euro Vision Song Contest, also took to the stage.

German violinist David Garrett, who also performed for the crowd, took home Best German Rock/Pop Artist.

International stars were also in attendance including American singer-songwriter Lana del Rey and 2012 ECHO winner, jazz and pop singer, Michel Buble.

Controversy at the awards

Die Toten Hosen, along with several other bands, opposed the nomination of Frei.Wild, a band from southern Tirol, for an ECHO this year due to their right-wing lyrics.

Artists Kraftklub and MIA gave up their own ECHO nominations to protest Frei.Wild's lyrics. As a result of the pressure, organizers withdrew the nomination of the group in the category of Best German Rock/Alternative Group. Bernd Heinrich Graf, known as Der Graf, and his band Unheilig took home the award.

hc, jr/kms (dpa, AFP)