Udo Jürgens (born 30 September 1934 as Udo Jürgen Bockelmann), is an Austrian composer and singer of popular music whose career spans over fifty years.
Udo Jürgens was born in Klagenfurt
. In 1950, Jürgens won a composer contest organised by Austria's public broadcasting
with the song Je t'aime
. He wrote the 1961 worldwide hit Reach for the Stars
, sung by Shirley Bassey
. In 1964, he represented Austria for the first time at the Eurovision Song Contest
with the song Warum nur warum?
, finishing fifth. The UK participant Matt Monro
was so impressed that he covered the song with English lyrics (by Don Black
) as Walk Away
, which reached number four in the UK charts and number 23 in the U.S. His song Sag ihr, ich lass sie grüßen
came fourth in 1965's contest
, and in 1966 he won the competition
with his song Merci Chérie
, which later became an English-language hit as interpreted by Vince Hill
In the following years, he wrote some of his most famous songs, like Griechischer Wein, Aber bitte mit Sahne, Mit 66 Jahren, and –one of his biggest successes– Buenos Días, Argentina, which he performed together with the German football team in 1978. Because Jürgens, who enjoyed a thorough musical education, always accompanies himself on the piano, he is sometimes compared to Billy Joel, but unlike him is backed not by a rock band, but by a full 18-piece big band.
In 1977, he invited The Supremes to appear as guests on his televised and recorded gala concert. The Supremes (Mary Wilson, Scherrie Payne, and Susaye Green), who were on a brief farewell tour of Europe at the time, performed two of their own current hits, You Are The Heart of Me and You're My Driving Wheel, as well as a duet with Jürgens, Walk Away in English.
In 1992, his concert in Vienna was attended by 220,000 spectators; this is still one of the biggest concerts in Europe ever.
In 2000, Jürgens celebrated his 66th birthday, proving that the title of his 1977 song Mit 66 Jahren also holds true for himself. Jürgens still tours and regularly appears on television, both in shows and in made-for-TV films. He usually attracts large crowds covering all age groups. For many years now, the tabloid press have cast him as a womanizer, and several women have claimed that he is the father of their children. In September 2003, the tabloid newspaper Bild revealed that Jürgens had secretly married his long-term companion Corinna in New York on .
Up to now, Udo Jürgens has composed more than 900 songs and sold about 105 million units, making him one of the most successful composers and singers in the world. His career continues with near-annual tours.
On , the musical Ich war noch niemals in New York
(I've never been to New York) succeeded Mamma Mia!
in the Hamburg
. All songs in that musical are written by Udo Jürgens or his text writers. Jürgens does not sing in the musical, it is sung by stage actors and the big band playing the musical is not his original band.
- His brother, Manfred Bockelmann (born 1943), is a painter.
- His son by first marriage, John Jürgens (born 1964), is a singer, actor and DJ.
- His daughter by his first marriage, Jenny Jürgens (born 1967), is an actress.
- His uncle, Werner Bockelmann (1907–1968), was mayor of Frankfurt am Main 1957–1964.
- Portrait in Musik 1. Folge (1965)
- Siebzehn Jahr, blondes Haar (1965)
- Francoise und Udo (1966)
- Portrait in Musik 2. Folge (1967)
- Was ich Dir sagen will (1967)
- Udo (1968)
- Mein Lied für Dich (1968)
- Udo Live (1969)
- Udo '70 (1969)
- Udo '71 (1970)
- Zeig mir den Platz an der Sonne (1971)
- Helden, Helden (Musical) (1972)
- Ich bin wieder da (1972)
- Johnny und Jenny (Alle Kinder dieser Welt) (1973)
- Udo heute (1974)
- Meine Lieder (1975)
- Udo '75 (Ein neuer Morgen) (1975)
- Meine Lieder 2 (1976)
- Meine Lieder '77 (1977)
- Buenos Días Argentina (Football World-Championship) (1978)
- Udo 1957–60 (1980)
- Nur ein Lächeln (1980)
- Udo '80 (1980)
- Leave a little love (1981)
- Willkommen in meinem Leben (1981)
- Silberstreifen (1982)
- Traumtänzer (1983)
- Hautnah (1984)
- Treibjagd (1985)
- Deinetwegen (1986)
- Das blaue Album (1988)
- Ohne Maske (1989)
- Sempre Roma (Football World-Championship) (1990)
- Das Traumschiff (Soundtrack) (1990)
- Open air Symphony (1992)
- Geradeaus (1992)
- Cafe Größenwahn (1993)
- 140 Tage Cafe Größenwahn Tour 94/95 (1994)
- Zärtlicher Chaot (1995)
- Gestern-heute-morgen (1996)
- Ich werde da sein (1999)
- Mit 66 Jahren (Was wichtig ist) (2000)
- Es lebe das Laster (2002)
- Es werde Licht (2003)
- Jetzt oder nie (2005)
- Einfach ich (2008)
In the early 1990s, German thrash metal
released a 'metalized' cover of Aber Bitte mit Sahne
, an Udo Jürgens's song about unattractive girls making up for amorous delusions with dessert-eating binges.