Echo Music Prize

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Echo Music Prize
Echo Award.jpg
Awarded forOutstanding achievements in the music industry
Presented by Deutsche Phono-Akademie  [ de ]
First awarded18 May 1992;27 years ago (1992-05-18)
Last awarded12 April 2018 (2018-04-12)
Television/radio coverage
Network Das Erste (2009–2016) VOX (2017-2018)

Echo Music Prize (stylised as ECHO, German pronunciation: [ˈɛço] ) was an accolade by the Deutsche Phono-Akademie  [ de ], an association of recording companies of Germany to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The first ECHO Awards ceremony was held in 1992, and it was set up to honor musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1991, succeeding the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, which was awarded since 1963. Each year's winner was determined by the previous year's sales. In April 2018, following controversy regarding that year's ceremony, the Bundesverband Musikindustrie announced the end of the award. [1] [2]

Music industry companies and individuals that create and sell music

The music industry consists of the companies and individuals that earn money by creating new songs and pieces and selling live concerts and shows, audio and video recordings, compositions and sheet music, and the organizations and associations that aid and represent music creators. Among the many individuals and organizations that operate in the industry are: the songwriters and composers who create new songs and musical pieces; the singers, musicians, conductors and bandleaders who perform the music; the companies and professionals who create and sell recorded music and/or sheet music ; and those that help organize and present live music performances.

The Deutscher Schallplattenpreis was a prize that the Deutsche Phono-Akademie awarded from 1963 through 1992. Its successor is the ECHO prize.

The Bundesverband Musikindustrie, or simply BVMI, represents the music industry in Germany. The association represents the interests of nearly 280 labels and music industry related enterprises, which comprise 90% of the music industry.



First held with 370 people in the Flora, Cologne [3] in 1992, [4] the award ceremony in Frankfurt was televised and the classical awards were moved to a separate event, Echo Klassik, in Cologne in 1994. [5] Until 1995, only invited guests could attend the ceremony. [6] It was held in Munich, [3] and in 2001, the venue was moved from Hamburg to Berlin [7] because of subsidies of up to 20 million euros, although a return in 2004 was considered. [8] In 2009, the venue in Berlin was moved to Mercedes-Benz Arena. [9]

Flora und Botanischer Garten Köln Building in Cologne Botanical Garden

The Flora und Botanischer Garten Köln is a municipal formal park and botanical garden located adjacent to Cologne Zoological Garden at Amsterdamer Straße 34, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is open daily without charge.

Cologne city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Cologne is the largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth most populous city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. With slightly over a million inhabitants within its urban area, Cologne is the largest city on the Rhine and also the most populous city both of the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, which is Germany's largest and one of Europe's major metropolitan areas, and of the Rhineland. Centred on the left bank of the Rhine, Cologne is about 45 kilometres (28 mi) southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia's capital of Düsseldorf and 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of Bonn. It is the largest city in the Central Franconian and Ripuarian dialect areas.

The Echo Klassik, often stylized as ECHO Klassik, is Germany's major classical music award in 22 categories. The award is held annually, usually in October or September, separate from its parent award, the Echo.


The trophy was designed by Oliver Renelt when he was a student at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg. It is stainless steel, and is 40 centimetres (16 in) tall and weighs 2 kilograms (4.4 lb). [3] It depicts half a disc with notes flowing into it from a globe, and the design was the winner of a competition held for that purpose. [6]


The Echo Award was heavily criticized worldwide when Farid Bang and Kollegah received the award for best hip hop/urban album in April 2018. The nominated album, Jung, Brutal, Gutaussehend 3 (English: "Young, brutal, handsome 3"), contains the track "0815", in which the artists refer to their muscles as being more defined than those of Auschwitz inmates. The duo was even allowed to perform this track during the ceremony, despite heavy protests weeks before the award show.

Farid Bang German rapper

Farid El Abdellaoui, known professionally as Farid Bang, is a German rapper of Moroccan descent. He is currently the owner of the label Banger Musik.

Kollegah German rapper

Felix Blume, known professionally as Kollegah is a German rapper. Born in Friedberg, Hesse and raised by a single mother in Simmern, he started rapping in the Reimliga Battle Arena in December 2004. Intent on pursuing a solo career as a rapper, Kollegah released his first mixtape Zuhältertape in July 2005 and was signed to Selfmade Records in December of the same year. He went on to pursue a variety of styles on subsequent albums Alphagene (2007), Kollegah (2008), Bossaura (2011). His fourth studio album King was released in 2014 and became his best-selling album to date. His fifth album, Zuhältertape Vol. 4 was released in 2015, Imperator in 2016 and Monument in 2018. Kollegah released four collaborative studio albums with German rapper Farid Bang, the Jung brutal gutaussehend tetralogy between 2009 and 2018.

Campino, singer of German punk band Die Toten Hosen, was the first one to criticize the committee's decision during the ceremony. [10] His remarks received a standing ovation from the audience. [11] Several artists later returned their Echo awards in protest, such as Marius Müller-Westernhagen, who returned all of his seven Echo awards received over the years. Other artists returning their awards were German conductors Christian Thielemann and Enoch zu Guttenberg, Russian-German pianist Igor Levit, record producer Klaus Voormann, and the Notos Quartett. [12]

Campino (singer) Singer of Die Toten Hosen

Campino is a German-British singer, songwriter and actor. He is best known as the lead vocalist of Die Toten Hosen, a German punk rock band.

Die Toten Hosen German band

Die Toten Hosen is a German punk rock band from Düsseldorf.

Marius Müller-Westernhagen German actor and musician

Marius Müller-Westernhagen is a German actor and musician.

However, criticism did not only come from artists and the German press. Several businesses joined in, with Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus, being one of the most recent high-profile commentators, saying that this would hurt "Germany’s international reputation". He also asked if "antisemitism [was] becoming acceptable in Germany" again. [10]

Tom Enders German businessman

Thomas "Tom" Enders is a German business executive who served as the chief executive of Airbus from 2012 until 2019. Since 2019, he has been the president of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).

Airbus European aircraft manufacturer

Airbus SE, from 2000 to 2014 known as the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), is a European multinational aerospace corporation that stood as the world's second biggest aerospace and defence company in 2018. Registered in the Netherlands and trading shares in France, Germany and Spain, Airbus designs, manufactures and sells civil and military aerospace products worldwide and manufactures in the European Union and various other countries. The company has three divisions: Commercial Aircraft, Defence and Space, and Helicopters, the third being the largest in its industry in terms of revenues and turbine helicopter deliveries.

As a consequence, the Echo Award was discontinued. [2]

Ceremony locations

1992 Flora Cologne Kristiane Backer
1993 Wintergarten BerlinSusann Pingel
1994 Alte Oper Frankfurt Fritz Egner
1995Bavaria Film- und FernsehstudiosMunich Reinhold Beckmann
1996 Congress Center Hamburg Hamburg Thomas Ohrner
1997 Congress Center Hamburg Hamburg Axel Bulthaupt
1998 Congress Center Hamburg Hamburg Axel Bulthaupt
1999 Congress Center Hamburg HamburgKim Fisher
2000 Congress Center Hamburg HamburgKim Fisher
2001 ICC Berlin BerlinFrauke Ludowig
2002 ICC Berlin BerlinFrauke Ludowig
2003 ICC Berlin BerlinFrauke Ludowig, Oliver Geissen
2004 ICC Berlin Berlin Oliver Geissen
2005 Estrel Convention Center Berlin Yvonne Catterfeld, Oliver Geissen
2006 Estrel Convention Center Berlin Michelle Hunziker, Oliver Geissen
2007 Palais am Berliner Funkturm BerlinYvonne Catterfeld, Oliver Geissen
2008 ICC Berlin Berlin Nazan Eckes, Oliver Geissen
2009 O2 World Berlin Barbara Schöneberger, Oliver Pocher
2010 Palais am Berliner Funkturm Berlin Sabine Heinrich, Matthias Opdenhövel
2011 Palais am Berliner Funkturm BerlinIna Müller, Joko Winterscheidt
2012 Palais am Berliner Funkturm BerlinIna Müller, Barbara Schöneberger
2013 Palais am Berliner Funkturm Berlin Helene Fischer
2014 Messe Berlin BerlinHelene Fischer
2015 Messe Berlin BerlinBarbara Schöneberger
2016 Messe Berlin Berlin
2017 Messe Berlin Berlin Xavier Naidoo, Sasha
2018 Messe Berlin Berlin

Echo Awards

The Kastelruther Spatzen have won 13 Echo Awards in the category Volksmusik which is more than any other artist; the awards were in 1993, 1996–2003, 2006–2010.

Selected pop categories

Best National Rock/Pop Male Artist

Best National Rock/Pop Female Artist

Best International Rock/Pop Male Artist

Best International Rock/Pop Female Artist

Best National Rock/Pop Group

Best International Rock/Pop Group

Best International Rock/Alternative

Single of the Year

Single of the Year (National)

Single of the Year (International)

Album of the Year

Best National Newcomer

Best International Newcomer

Honorary Award


Following its first edition as a separate event in Cologne in 1994, the ECHO KLASSIK has been held in the Semperoper in Dresden in 1996 and 2009, [16] in Dortmund in 2003, [17] in Gasteig in Munich from 2004 to 2008 and in 2014. [18] In 2010 it was held in Essen. [19] From 2011 until 2016 the award show was held in Berlin's Konzerthaus - only shortly intermitted in 2014. [18] In 2017, the ECHO KLASSIK took place in Hamburg's newly opened Elbphilharmonie. [20]


Since 2010, the ECHO JAZZ awards have been given in thirty categories, including ensemble of the year, male and female singer of the year, record label, and lifetime achievement. In 2012 the criteria for entry included album release date and "two outstanding reviews from music journalists." Conductor Claus Ogermann was given the ECHO Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. [21] Awards are decided by a twelve-member jury based on critical and commercial appeal. [22] [23]

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