A gifted opera student by the age of nine, East Berliner Nina Hagen fell under the artistic influence of her stepfather, radical singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann, and began to form the skewed and eccentric aesthetic that would inform her highly inventive avant-garde cabaret music. Besotted by punk, Hagen moved to London in the late 1970s, returning to Germany in the early '80s to form the Nina Hagen Band. She enjoyed some popularity in Europe, and amongst the musical intelligentsia of the U.S., with her cover of the Tubes' "White Punks on Dope." Her tart combination of punk, mysticism, dub, and noise--delivered in a highly theatrical manner that both incorporates and flouts her stunning physical beauty--placed her in her own context, and inspired a rabid cult following that remains, even as her recorded output has dwindled.
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