11 March 1955|
Catharina "Nina" Hagen (German: [ˈniːna ˈhaːɡn̩] (listen); born 11 March 1955) is a German singer, songwriter, and actress. She is known for her theatrical vocals and rose to prominence during the punk and new wave movements in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Born in the former East Berlin, German Democratic Republic, Hagen began her career as an actress when she appeared in several German films alongside her mother Eva-Maria Hagen. Around that same time, she joined the band Automobil and released the single "Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen”. After her stepfather Wolf Biermann's East German citizenship was withdrawn in 1976, Hagen followed him to Hamburg. Shortly afterwards, she was offered a record deal from CBS Records and formed the Nina Hagen Band. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1978 to critical acclaim and was a commercial success selling over 250,000 copies. The band released one more album, Unbehagen, before their break-up in 1979.
In 1982, Hagen signed a new contract with CBS and released her debut solo album NunSexMonkRock, which became her first record to chart in the United States. She followed it with two more albums: Fearless (1983) and Nina Hagen in Ekstasy (1985), before her contract with CBS expired and was not renewed. In 1989, she was offered a record deal from Mercury Records. She released three albums on the label: Nina Hagen (1989), Street (1991), and Revolution Ballroom (1993). However, none of the albums achieved notable commercial success. Hagen made her musical comeback with the release of her album Return of the Mother (2000).
Besides her musical career, Hagen is also a voice-over actress. She wrote three autobiographies: Ich bin ein Berliner (1988), Nina Hagen: That's Why the Lady Is a Punk (2003), and Bekenntnisse (2010). She is also noted for her human and animal rights activism.