Udo Lindenberg was last night's big winner at Germany's 2017 ECHO Awards, in which the Deutsche Phono-Akademie -- an association of German record labels -- honored outstanding achievement in their country's music industry. Lindenberg's Warner release Stärker als die Zeit won Album of the Year and National Pop Artist honors.
Other winners included Drake's "One Dance" feat. WizKid & Kyla (Motown/Universal Music) which won Hit of the Year; Ina Müller whose "Ich bin die" (Columbia/Sony Music) won the Pop Female Artist National award; and AnnenMayKantereit's "Alles Nix Konkretes" which scored the National Pop Band accolades.
International honors were bestowed upon Rag'n'Bone Man's "Human" (Columbia), Sia's This Is Acting (RCA) and Metallica's Hardwired...to Self Destruct (Mercury).
This year's ceremony saw several significant changes: The German Academy reduced the categories from 31 to 22 and brought in a jury of dealers, publishers, organizers and media who had a 50 percent vote on each ECHO winner. The show's broadcast, which will air today (4/7), changed networks from the market-leading ARD, which has a older viewing demographic, to the younger-skewing VO.
The ceremony on Berlin's trade fair grounds attracted over 2,000 guests and a number of spectacular performances, including German veteran hard rock group Die Toten Hosen, who played their new single "Unter den Wolken," and Lindenberg, who joined Wolfgang Niedecken, Johannes Oerding, Henning Wehland and Daniel Wirtz on "Einer Muss Den Job Ja machen" (which translates as "After All, Someone's Got To Do The Job").
Also featured were Linkin Park and singer Kiiara, who played their new single "Heavy"; the soul singer Rag'n'Bone, whose rendition of "Human" brought the house down; and German hip-hop trio Beginner on stage with Gentleman und Gzuz as well as the combination of Adel Tawil, KC Rebell and Summer Cem.
The Gossip's Beth Ditto, who has a new album out this summer, was also part of the show and got a euphoric reaction when she took the stage. Her band has sold some 640,000 albums in Germany and earned three gold singles, including the global hit "Heavy Cross" which went triple platinum. In 2010 her band was nominated for three ECHOs. Here, she played her first single "Fire," which is from her upcoming album Fake Sugar out June 16 on Virgin Records.
"The show reflected the enormous stylistic bandwidth of current pop music in Germany," Dr. Florian Drücke, Managing Director of the German Federal Music Industry Association, told Billboard. "We experienced a highly exciting ECHO evening, which held many surprises in store, also thanks to the reinforced jury."
Frank Briegmann, President of Universal Music Central Europe and Deutsche Grammophon, told Billboard, "First of all, congratulations to all our prize winners on this amazing success story, which is once again outstanding both in terms of the individual prize winners and their collective achievement. I am particularly pleased about the victories in 'Hit of the Year' and 'Newcomer National,' which are considered a important confirmation of our commitment to junior talents."
2017 ECHO Winners
Album of the year: Udo Lindenberg, Stärker als die Zeit (DolceRita/Warner Music)
Hit of the year: Drake feat. WizKid & Kyla, "One Dance" (Motown/Universal Music)
Artist pop national: Udo Lindenberg, Stärker als die Zeit (DolceRita/Warner Music)
Female artist pop national: Ina Müller, "Ich bin die" (Columbia/Sony Music)
Band pop national: AnnenMayKantereit, "Alles Nix Konkretes" (Vertigo/Universal Music)
German-language: Andrea Berg, "Seelenbeben" (Bergrecords/Sony Music)
Folk Music: Andreas Gabalier, MTV Unplugged (Electrola/Universal Music)
Hip-Hop/Urban national: Beginner, Advanced Chemistry (Vertigo/Universal)
Dance national: Alle Farben, "Music Is My Best Friend" (B1 Recordings/Sony Music)
Rock national: Broilers, "(sic!)" (Skull & Palms/Warner Music)
Artist international: Rag'n'Bone Man, "Human" (Columbia/Sony Music)
Female Artist international: Sia, This Is Acting (RCA/Sony Music)
Band international: Metallica, Hardwired...To Self-Destruct (Mercury/Universal Music)
Newcomer national: AnnenMayKantereit, "Alles Nix Konkretes" (Vertigo/Universal Music)
Newcomer international: Rag'n'Bone Man, "Human" (Columbia/Sony Music)
Producer national: Herbig/Menzel/Seifert for Stärker als die Zeit with Udo Lindenberg
Best video national: Von Wegen Lisbeth, "Bitch" (Columbia/Sony Music)
Critics' Award National: Beginner, Advanced Chemistry (Vertigo/Universal Music)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Marius Müller-Westernhagen
Partner of the Year: The Pop Academy of Baden-Wuerttemberg
Commercial partner of the year: Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus, Music Department
Social commitment: Viva con Agua
Special prize award: Nordoff/Robbins Music Therapy