Xavier Naidoo, Beyonce, and Depeche Mode are among the nominees for the 2010 Echo Awards. The prestigious prizes honoring the year's best Pop and Rock music will be awarded in Berlin on Thursday.
Hamburg hip-hop artist Jan Delay is both a performer and a nominee at the Echo Awards.
It's the most anticipated evening in German pop music: the Echo Awards for Rock and Pop will be presented in Berlin on Thursday evening. Nominees include Lady Gaga, David Guetta, and the Black Eyed Peas as well as German bands Silbermond and Ich+Ich.
As the German equivalent of the Grammys or the Brit Pop Awards, the Echo Awards differ from their anglophile counterparts in one critical way: the Echos give nearly equal focus to German and international artists.
Nominations are divided into 'domestic' and 'international' categories. Daniel Knoell of the German Music Industry Association told Deutsche Welle that the international focus of the awards is highlighted by the diverse performances lined up for Thursday's ceremony.
The Scorpions performed at last year's Echo Awards.
"We have international stars like Rihanna or Robbie Williams, who will perform in English, and we have artists like Peter Maffay, who will present his songs in German," Knoell said.
In addition to the usual categories of "best artist", and "best band," the Echo awards also feature nominations for the best German folk music and best German "Schlager" singer.
This year's Echo event is noticeably smaller than last year's, which boasted a record audience of 10,000 fans in the O2 arena in Berlin. But the tickets for the 2010 Echos Awards, which will be held at a smaller venue with space for about 4,000 guests, were still a hot commodity. This year's tickets sold out in seven minutes, according to organizers.
Founded in 1992 by the Deutsche Phono-Akademie - the cultural institute of the Association of the German Music Industry, the Echo is one of the most important European music prizes.
Author: Sarah Harman
Editor: Rob Turner