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Tokio Hotel is a German band founded in Magdeburgmarker, Germanymarker in 2001 by singer Bill Kaulitz, guitarist Tom Kaulitz, drummer Gustav Schäfer and bassist Georg Listing. The quartet have scored four number one singles and have released three number one albums in their native country, selling nearly 5 million CDs and DVDs there.After recording an unreleased demo-CD under the name "Devilish" and having their contract with Sony BMG terminated, the band released their first German-language album, Schrei, as Tokio Hotel on Island Records in 2005. Schrei sold more than half a million copies worldwide and spawned four top five singles in both Germany and Austria. In 2007, the band released their second German album Zimmer 483 and their first English album Scream which have combined album sales of over one million copies worldwide and helped win the band their first MTV Europe Music Award for Best InterAct. The former, Zimmer 483, spawned three top five singles in Germany while the latter, Scream, spawned two singles that reached the top twenty in new territories such as Portugalmarker, Spainmarker and Italymarker. In September 2008, they won in the US their first MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist. In October 2008, they won four awards including Best International Artist and Song of the year at Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica held in Mexico. Tokio Hotel became the first german band ever to win an award at the MTV VMAs and also at the MTV Latin America Awards. They also picked up the Headliner award at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008 held in Liverpoolmarker on 6 November 2008 and the Award for Best Group on 5 November 2009 at the MTV Europe Music Award held in Berlin.

History

Founding

Tokio Hotel was founded by vocalist Bill Kaulitz and guitarist Tom Kaulitz, who are identical twin brothers, drummer Gustav Schäfer and bass-guitarist Georg Listing. The four met in 2001 after a live show in a Magdeburg club, where Listing and Schäfer, who knew each other from music school, watched from the audience while Bill and Tom Kaulitz played on the stage. Under the name Devilish, the band soon began playing in talent shows and small concerts. After Bill Kaulitz's participation in a children's Star Search in 2003 at age thirteen (which he lost in the quarter-final), he was discovered by music producer Peter Hoffmann. Devilish changed their name to Tokio Hotel: "Tokio", the German spelling of the Japanese city Tokyomarker, due to a love of the city, and "Hotel" due to their constant touring and living in hotels. Soon after Sony BMG took them under contract, Hoffmann hired David Jost and Pat Benzner into the team of creators and authors, and had them give the teens instruction on songwriting and instrument playing; most of the songs of the first album were written by Hoffmann, Jost and Benzer (including the singles "Scream" and "Rescue me" which were completely written by them), only the single "Unendlichkeit" was written completely by Tokio Hotel themselves. However, shortly before release of their first album, Sony terminated their contract. In 2005, Universal Music Group took Tokio Hotel under contract and developed a marketing plan. The band has now become one of the biggest acts from Germany.

Schrei

Bill Kaulitz performing in Hessisch-Lichtenau, Germany in 2006.
Their first single, "Durch den Monsun" ("Through the Monsoon"), quickly rose in the charts, appearing on the German official Media Control single chart at #15 on 20 August 2005 and eventually reaching #1 on 26 August 2005; it also reached #1 on the Austrian singles chart. Their second single, "Schrei" ("Scream"), climbed to the #5 position in the German charts. These two songs were written by singer Bill Kaulitz together with their group of producers Peter Hoffmann, David Jost, Pat Benzer and Dave Roth. Their debut album, Schrei, was released on 19 September 2005, which the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry – Germany later awarded a platinum certification for selling over 200,000 copies. In 2006, a third and fourth single, "Rette mich" ("Rescue Me") and "Der letzte Tag" ("The Final Day"), were released; both reached #1 as well. "Der letzte Tag" contained a B-side called "Wir schließen uns ein", which was also accompanied by a music video.

Zimmer 483

The first single off their second album Zimmer 483 (Room 483), called "Übers Ende der Welt" (later re-released in English under the name "Ready, Set, Go!"), was released on 26 January 2007 and quickly reached #1. Zimmer 483 was released in Germany on 23 February 2007, along with a deluxe edition of the album containing a DVD. The album's second single, "Spring nicht" ("Don't Jump") was released on 7 April. The tour accompanying the release of the album, The Zimmer 483 Tour, was scheduled to start in March 2007, but was delayed by two weeks because the band members wished to have a different stage design. A third single, "An deiner Seite " ("By Your Side"), was released on the 16 November. The single contains the B-side "1000 Meere" ("1000 Oceans"), for which a music video was also produced.On 28 April 2008 Tokio Hotel released their single "Heilig" but no music video for the single was released, because of the tight schedule they had.

Scream

While their German albums never received official releases outside the German-speaking world, Tokio Hotel's first English language album, Scream, was released on 4 June 2007 throughout Europe. In Germany, the album was released as Room 483 in order to emphasize the continuity with their last German album Zimmer 483. Scream contains English versions of a selection of songs from their German-language albums Schrei and Zimmer 483. "Monsoon", the English-language version of "Durch den Monsun", was the first single from the album. "Ready, Set, Go!" (the translation of "Übers ende der Welt") was released as the album's second single and "Don't Jump" (the translation of "Spring nicht") as the third single. A video for "Scream", the English-language version of their 2005 hit "Schrei", was also recorded, and was released to the iTunes Store in early March 2008.

Tokio Hotel gave their first concert in the United Kingdommarker on 19 June 2007. "Ready, Set, Go!" was released in the UK as the band's first single on 27 August 2007. The song reached #77 in the UK Singles Chart.

Tokio Hotel won an MTV Europe Music Award for Best InterAct on 1 November 2007 and were also nominated for Best Band. They performed "Monsoon" at the event.

Tokio Hotel released their first US single, simply called "Tokio Hotel", in late 2007. The single contains the tracks "Scream" and "Ready, Set, Go!", and was available exclusively at Hot Topic stores. Their second US single, "Scream America", was released on 11 December 2007. The single contains the track "Scream" and a remix of "Ready, Set, Go!" by AFI's Jade Puget. In February 2008, the band toured North America for five dates starting in Canada and finishing up in New York. After appearing and performing live on MuchMusicmarker, while touring in Canada, "Ready, Set, Go!" entered the MuchOnDemand Daily 10, a countdown of videos chosen by viewers. It remained there for over a week, then returned to the top of the MOD Daily 10 chart on April 8. "Scream" was released in Canada on 25 March and in the US on 6 May.

1000 Hotels Tour

The "1000 Hotels" European Tour began on 3 March 2008 in Brusselsmarker and continued to locations including The Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Scandinavia, and was scheduled to finish on 9 April; however, during the concert in Marseillemarker, France on 14 March, Bill started to experience vocal problems. He let the audience sing more frequently than normal and instead of the original 21 songs that were on the set list, they only played 16 songs. Bill apologized, in German, for his bad singing and explained that he was sick. Two days later, the band canceled Lisbonmarker, Portugal concert minutes before it was supposed to commence. The rest of the "1000 Hotels" Tour and a scheduled North American Tour were cancelled following an announcement in Bild by the band's manager that Bill Kaulitz had to undergo surgery to remove a cyst on his vocal cords.

Bill Kaulitz had been putting strain on his voice after playing 43 concerts in the 1000 Hotels tour without vacation. He had to undergo Larynx surgery on March 30 to remove a cyst that had formed on his vocal cords. The cyst was the result of a throat infection that went untreated. Following his surgery, Bill was unable to speak for twelve days, and had four weeks of vocal rehabilitation. If Bill had continued singing the rest of the tour, his voice would have eventually been permanently damaged. Tokio Hotel started performing again in May 2008 and after that they embarked on a 2nd part of their 1000 Hotels European Tour adding many Open Air concerts and wrapping up the tour on July 13 in Werchter, Belgium.

United States tours and Humanoid

Tokio Hotel embarked on a second tour of North America in August 2008. The band's music video for "Ready Set Go!" was nominated for Best Pop Video at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, where they also won the award for Best New Artist. They returned to North America again in October 2008 for a month long tour of concerts and record store signings. In December 2008, a behind-the scenes DVD called Tokio Hotel TV - Caught on Camera was released. It contains footage from Tokio Hotel TV and backstage feature stories of the previous year on disc one entitled "History - The very best of Tokio Hotel TV!". A deluxe edition contains a second disc entitled "Future - The road to the new Album!" which features footage of the band on promotion tours and preparing for their third studio album.

In between the North American tours, the band returned to their record studio in Hamburg to record their third studio album, Humanoid, which, according to their producer David Jost, is currently set for release on October 2, 2009. This is despite earlier statements predicting a March/April 2009 release or a May/June 2009 release. The album will be recorded in both German and English with both versions being released simultaneously worldwide. On July 21, 2009, Nokia.de told the public that they had signed a deal with Tokio Hotel. They would became Nokia's face and in return they get a postercampaign and an unplugged performance from Tokio Hotel in Germany. On July 22, it was revealed that the mini-concert would be existing out of 6 songs, 5 known hits and their brand new single. The concert will be on August 27 in Cologne, Germanymarker and tickets are available through a contest.

On June 17 2009, 2 short versions of brand new English songs leaked on the internet. "Dark Side of the Sun" (0:19) "Pain of Love" (0:25) have been confirmed to be on their 2nd English album. On that same day, after the confirmation, every possible video on YouTube containing these two demo's has been taken down due to copyright restrictions.

On August 10, it was announced on MTV news that the first single from the album would be "Automatisch" in German and "Automatic" in English. On August 20, MTV Buzzworthy released a video which previewed "Automatic" and Cherrytree Records announced that the English version of the song would be released in the US on September 22. Nevertheless, the video for the single was released on September 3.

In an atricle from Billboard Magazine it was stated that Tokio Hotel will return to the United statesmarker in October, 2009 to make various unconfirmed television appearnces (with the exception of the confirmed It's On With Alexa Chung appearance). On MTV.com it was stated that Tokio Hotel will be on the season two premier of It's On With Alexa Chung and that the Premiere date is October 19, 2009

On November 2, it was announced on Tom's Blog that the second single from the album would be "World Behind My Wall" in English and "Lass uns laufen" in German.

Musical style

Tokio Hotel's genre definition is a matter of a debate. Frankfurter Rundschau article describes their music as "Straightforward pop-rock with catchy melodies and a well-calculated mix of "stolen" Metallica riffs and romantic ballad elements." "Lyrics laced with "emo" angst, wrapped in a flamboyant pop-rock package", says an ABC reviewer, mentioning that style "range from catchy pop anthems... to appealing rock ballads" from song to song. Tokio Hotel deliver "both yowling rockers and sentimental ballads", follows Rolling Stone.

Band members

Bill Kaulitz

Bill Kaulitz was born on September 1, 1989 in Leipzigmarker, East Germanymarker. He was born ten minutes after his identical twin brother, Tom, to Simone Kaulitz, a freelance tailor, and Jörg Kaulitz. His parents divorced when he was seven, and his mother remarried Gordon Trümper, a guitarist from the German rock band Fatun. His stepfather inspired Bill and his brother to begin their music careers, and they began writing song lyrics. Bill has stated that his biggest musical influence is German pop artist Nena. He voiced the role of Arthur in the German version of the film, Arthur and the Minimoys.

He is famous for his androgynous look. German site dw-world.com says that his look, young age and edgy hairstyle has reached icon status among many teenage girls.In August 2008, Bill Kaulitz was chosen as the most attractive singer on stage by the readers of the Spanish magazine ¡Hola!.

Bill was immortalized in wax at the Madame Tussaudsmarker museum in Berlin. His wax statue was unveiled on September 30, 2008. At 19 years old, Bill became the youngest person to be duplicated by the Madame Tussauds museum in Berlin.

In December 2008, Bill Kaulitz was named "Man of the Year #6" by MTV News.

Tom Kaulitz

Tom Kaulitz was born on September 1, 1989 in Leipzig ten minutes before his identical twin brother, Bill. His style of dress is baggy Hip-Hop clothes, with dreadlocks and large New Era hats, the only one of the band to do so. As of September 2007, Tom was using Gibson guitars. He has stated his musical influences to be Aerosmith and German hip-hop such as Samy Deluxe.

Georg Listing

Georg Listing was born on 31 March 1987. His hometown is Hallemarker. He began playing bass when he was thirteen-years-old, and, as of September 2007, uses a Sandberg bass. He has said that his playing style was heavily influenced by Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and other musical influences include Die Ärzte and Oasis.

Gustav Schäfer

Gustav Schäfer was born on 8 September 1988 in his hometown of Magdeburgmarker, and has an older sister. Gustav has been playing the drums since he was five. His musical influences include Metallica, Joe Cocker and Rod Stewart.

Discography

Studio albums
Live albums


Awards

2005
Category Award Date
Best Newcomer Comet Awards 6 October
Super Comet Comet Awards 6 October
Best Newcomer Eins Live Krone 24 November
Best Pop National Act Bambi Awards 1 December
Best Single Golden Penguin ...2005
Best Pop Golden Penguin ...2005
Rock Band 2005 Golden Penguin ...2005


2006
Category Award Date
Album of the year Golden Penguin 8 February
Band of the year Golden Penguin 8 February
Song of the year - ‘Der Letzte Tag’ Golden Penguin 8 February
Ausverkaufte Tourhalle Sold-out-Award of Königpilsen Arena 11 March
Best Newcomer ECHO Awards 12 March
Best Newcomer Steiger Awards 25 March
Best Selling German Artist World Music Awards 15 November
Best Pop National Act Bambi Awards 30 November


2007
Category Award Date
European Border Breakers Award NRJ Awards 21 January
Best Video National ECHO Awards 25 March
Best Video Comet Awards 3 May
Best Band Comet Awards 3 May
Supercomet Comet Awards 3 May
Most Successful Popgroup International Goldene Stimmgabel Awards 3 October
Best Album TMF Awards 14 October
Best Video TMF Awards 14 October
Best New Artist TMF Awards 14 October
Best Pop TMF Awards 14 October
Best International Act MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) 1 November


2008
Category Award Date
Best International Band NRJ Music Awards 26 January
Best Music Video Echo Awards 15 February
Best Band Comet Awards 23 May
Best Video Comet Awards 23 May
Best Live Act Comet Awards 23 May
Super Comet Comet Awards 23 May
Best New Artist MTV VMA Music Awards 7 September
Best Male Artist International (Bill Kaulitz) TMF Awards 11 October
Best Video International TMF Awards 11 October
Song of the Year MTV Latin America Awards 16 October
Best Fanclub-Venezuela MTV Latin America Awards 16 October
Best New Artist-International MTV Latin America Awards 16 October
Best Ringtone MTV Latin America Awards 16 October
Headliner MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) 6 November


2009
Category Award Date
Best Online Star Comet Awards 29 May
Best Group MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) 5 November


References

  1. Prominente: Tokio Hotel will den gesamten Planeten erobern - Nachrichten Vermischtes - WELT ONLINE
  2. Biography at tokiohotel-us.com
  3. musikindustrie.de: "Certification"
  4. NYTimes.com A Wild Welcome to a German Teen-Pop Band. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  5. Kautz, Julia, "Das Ende von Tokio Hotel?", pg. 10, 11, 12 & 13, Bravo, Issue 15, April, 2008
  6. "Wie schlecht geht es Bill wirklich", Bild, April 5, 2008
  7. "Noch mehr US-Konzerte abgesagt", Bild, April 26, 2008
  8. Jessen, Philip & Michaelsen, Sven, "Ich habe Angst", pg. 46, Vanity Fair, Issue 15, April 3, 2008
  9. Dos Anjos, Barbara, "Bem-vinda ao Tokio Hotel", pg. 29, Capricho, Issue 1050, August, 2008
  10. Deutsche Welle Bill Kaulitz: El fenómeno de Tokio Hotel (Bill Kaulitz: The phenomenon of Tokio Hotel). Retrieved September 17, 2008.
  11. Oei, Roland, "Tokio Hotel", pg. 20 & 21, PowerPlay, Issue 91, September, 2007
  12. arthur- der film.de Arthur und die Minimoys.Retrieved September 17, 2008.
  13. artsyHANDS Bill Kaulitz — The Hottest Man-Chick Alive?
  14. Deutsche Welle German Pop Sensation Tokio Hotel Wins MTV Video Music Award. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
  15. Hola.com BILL KAULITZ, VOCALISTA DE TOKIO HOTEL, EL CANTANTE MÁS ATRACTIVO SOBRE EL ESCENARIO SEGÚN LOS LECTORES DE HOLA.COM. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
  16. El Pais.com Bill Kaulitz ya tiene su estatua de cera. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  17. MTV.com Tokio Hotel's Bill Kaulitz Immortalized -- In Wax -- At Madame Tussauds In Berlin.Retrieved October 1st, 2008.
  18. MTV.com Who Is MTV News' Man Of The Year? The Countdown Begins Today!. Retrieved December 15th, 2008.
  19. Keijzers, Rawathe, "Touren Met Tokio Hotel", pg. 9, Hitkrant, Issue 38, 22 September 2007
  20. Tokio Hotel US » Georg Listing
  21. TMF AWARDS 2008 Winners TMF Awards 2008 Winners.Retrieved October 11, 2008.
  22. Tokio Hotel Win Best Group EMAs: Tokio Hotel Win Best Group .Retrieved November 6, 2009.


External links

Record label
* Interscope Records Profile


Official sites
* Official site
* Official Youtube site


Articles and reviews
* Interview from MuchMusicmarker (May 2008)
* Interview from MuchMusicmarker (February 2008)
* Interview from CosmoGIRL! (February/March 2008)
* Interview from Sound Generator (August 2007)


Other
*
* Tokio Hotel on MTV



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