Echo (music award)

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Logo of the Echo Pop

The Echo , spelling ECHO , was a German music prize that was awarded annually from 1992 to 2018 by the German Phono Academy , the cultural institute of the Federal Music Industry Association (BVMI), for the most outstanding achievements of national and international artists, music producers and partners. The design and naming of the award came from Gerd Gebhardt and Oliver Renelt .


In 1991, as a student at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts , Oliver Renelt took part in a tender from the German Phono Academy . The invitation to tender was aimed at designing a music prize. Renelt created the name "Echo" after discarding "Siren" and "Resonanz". Since then he has been making these trophies for every award in his workshop. The approximately two and a half kilograms and 45 centimeters high echo trophy symbolizes this "echo" from the sound source and waves. The base is made of bronze, the straps are made of brass and the intermediate part and the ball are made of steel. The entire trophy is nickel-plated.

On May 18, 1992 in Cologne in the flora of the first echo Pop awarded before 450 invited guests in 15 different categories. It was initiated by the coordination committee of the German phono associations and implemented by the former CEO Gerd Gebhardt. Initially, Echo Pop covered all styles of music. In 1992 and 1993, for example, classical music artists were honored with the Echo Pop award. Since 1994, the Echo Klassik has been awarded annually in several categories in a separate ceremony like the Echo Pop. From 1994 to 2009 the jazz musicians were also awarded the Echo Pop. Since 2010, like the classical musicians, they have also been awarded the Echo Jazz during their own event . During the first award only 15 echoes were distributed, the last time over 100 echoes were awarded annually. This means that more artists have recently been awarded an Echo than a Grammy .

Suspension of the echo award

On April 25, 2018, the board of the Federal Association of the Music Industry announced that the echo would no longer be awarded due to ongoing criticism of the 2018 award ceremony and numerous artists who returned the echoes they won in protest against the award for Kollegah and Farid Bang. The reason given was the 2018 echo award . The award should “in no way be perceived as a platform for anti-Semitism , contempt for women , homophobia or the minimization of violence ”. What happened could “no longer be reversed”, but “such a mistake should not be repeated in the future”. The Echo brand has been so badly damaged that a new start is necessary, for which the previous bodies will cease their work, this also includes a realignment at Echo Klassik and Echo Jazz. As the successor to the Echo Klassik, the Opus Klassik was launched in 2018 . The International Music Awards will be presented for the first time on November 22, 2019 and are considered the successor to Echo Pop .

Basis and submission regulations

Echo jazz and classic

The submission is based on sound carrier publications by an artist from the jazz or classical genre . The classification in the Phononet database determines whether the sound carrier can be assigned to the respective genre. All phonogram manufacturers whose phonograms are constantly sold on the German market and who have the corresponding distribution rights to the artists' phonograms are entitled to submit. Regardless of their nationality, all jazz musicians who are active in the musical life and on the recording market at the time of submission are qualified for the award. At Echo Jazz, the records must also have received two outstanding, independent reviews from music journalists.

The submission period is approximately three weeks; For example, the submission period for Echo Jazz 2014 began on November 12th and ended on December 3, 2013. All new jazz releases published from October 31, 2012 to November 1, 2013 were eligible for the submission process for Echo Jazz 2014 were. The submission period for Echo Klassik falls on March of each year (the postmark applies). The evaluation period extends from the beginning of the past calendar year to the submission period of the current year.

The sound carriers must contain recordings published for the first time in the evaluation period, which must account for at least 50% of the total playing time of the publication. Products submitted in the previous year may not be submitted again. Each submission consists of three parts: the submission form, at least two reviews and 12 CDs / DVDs. Any number of submissions can be made by a company. In addition, each submission can be suggested for any number of categories. A one-time fee of 50.00 euros will be charged for each product submitted. If a sound carrier is submitted for several categories, there are no additional costs. A jury selects the respective award winner from the submissions for the individual categories with a simple majority. Legal recourse is final against the decision of the jury. There is no legal claim to consideration in the submission process or to the prizes awarded.

Echo pop

Echo Pop is mainly based on the official German album and single charts (sales figures) determined by GfK Entertainment as an expression of the appreciation by the end customer and the winners of a jury. As of March, 12 months will be considered retrospectively for the annual Echo nomination. Awards such as best live act , life's work or for social commitment are given regardless of chart and sales success.


The orientation of the award to the sales figures and chart placements is the subject of criticism. Until 2017 they alone were decisive for the award, which led to the "accusation of dull commercial gilding", then a jury was added. Jan Böhmermann criticized the "German industrial music" and the echo in a monologue and the song Menschen Leben Tanzen Welt .

Before the Echo Pop 2018 was awarded , Jens-Christian Rabe commented

“His entire system is wrong. [...] In art, prizes are usually awards for outstanding artistic achievements. Just as there are prizes in sport for outstanding sporting achievements. So if, for example, someone in Germany has written an outstanding book or made a particularly good film, then that is why they may receive the German Book Prize or the German Film Prize. Prizes in literature or film are less likely to be awarded simply for selling a book particularly often or for attracting a particularly large number of viewers to the cinema. A reward is no longer necessary for this, you have already received it in the form of money. And exactly here is the central misunderstanding of the Echo, which the makers are happy to accept: The essential criterion for receiving an Echo for the album or the hit of the year is not an outstanding artistic achievement, but the bare sales figures. The echo awards the commercial success of a work, but not artistic quality. "

- Jens-Christian Rabe :



For the 2006 Echo Awards was originally an appearance by Oomph! and the title God is slated for a pop star . The band was unloaded at short notice. The cancellation was made by RTL with the following words: "In the context of the current, international religious discussions ( Mohammed caricatures ) and in the light of a general responsibility, we see a performance of the song God is a pop star very skeptical, even as irresponsible".

Free wild

In 2013 the South Tyrolean German rock band Frei.Wild was unloaded by Echo Pop after they had already been nominated. Bands like Mia , Kraftklub , Jupiter Jones and Jennifer Rostock had criticized the nomination and sometimes even threatened to cancel their own participation. Frei.Wild had already been nominated in 2010 and her singer Philipp Burger was photographed there with Jennifer Rostock's singer Jennifer Weist in her arms. When Frei.Wild was nominated for an Echo again in 2014, the band refused to participate. Due to another nomination in 2016, there was a discussion with the band, which then also won the Echo Pop in the category "Rock Alternative national". In their acceptance speech, the band said that the organizers had "corrected their mistakes".

Kollegah and Farid Bang

Before the Echo Pop 2018 was awarded to Kollegah and Farid Bang in the Hip-Hop / Urban National category , the International Auschwitz Committee condemned the rap duo's planned participation: It was “ a slap in the face for all Holocaust survivors and a slap for Germany shameful process "; especially because of the lines of text from the song 0815 "My body is more defined than by Auschwitz inmates" and "Do another Holocaust, come on with the Molotov". The Ethics Council had decided in advance against the exclusion of the singers with a view to freedom of expression; Provocations are a general stylistic device used by rappers. Linguists Sven Bloching and Jöran Landschoff investigated the question of the extent to which anti-Semitism plays a role in the texts on JBG 3 . The result of their study, entitled Defamation, Humor and Constructions of Masculinity , was published in Sprachreport 4/2018. Regarding the controversial line, they state: "In the context of this analysis, however, the presumption of systematic anti-Semitism is far removed, since these two lines read as drastic taboos and the Auschwitz comparison falls into the category of defamation of victims of historical events in general, the Holocaust Line as the attempt to depict a maximally cruel use of force. "

At the award ceremony on April 12, 2018, the singer Campino declared that provocation is an important stylistic device; but if this is misogynistic , homophobic , right-wing extremist or anti-Semitic , a limit has been exceeded.

As a result, the awarding of the prize to Kollegah and Farid Bang and their appearance at the award ceremony was sharply criticized by numerous media, artists and politicians. The Jewish author Oliver Polak wrote: “Rappers like Kollegah are to blame that Jewish youth in schoolyards are afraid. And someone like that gets a prize - on Holocaust Remembrance Day . Why I felt sick at the Echo Awards. ”The Federal Government's Anti-Semitism Commissioner, Felix Klein , said that such passages were unacceptable. They “not only hurt Holocaust survivors, but their families as well. That abuses artistic freedom. It is very problematic that hundreds of thousands of young people can be reached with it. ” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas gave a similar verdict .

Peter Maffay , who left the echo award prematurely in protest with some other people after the appearance of the two rappers, described the award as a "slap in the face for democratic understanding in our country"; it shows "the erosion in our society and in the music scene" and is an expression of a "mixture of stupidity, cowardice and technical incompetence".

Wolfgang Börnsen , on the other hand, as a member of the Echo Ethics Advisory Board, defended the award. It is "about the limits of freedom of expression and artistic freedom in our country". If the advisory board had "not approved the album for the award ceremony, that would be censorship". However, he admitted that “the basis of all art must always be human dignity”, and he considered it appropriate “if the two controversial musicians would return their Echo Prize”. This view was contradicted by Igor Levit , who pointed out that it was not about censorship, but about whether this music should also be recognized. He pointed out that the freedom of art also means that one can also reject and fight against the corresponding content.

The antelope gang expressed itself from the hip-hop scene . Your spokesmen see anti-Semitism not only in Kollegah; rather, he is “part of the scene”. Kendra Stenzel, on the other hand, saw no evidence of an anti-Semitic attitude in an article in Spiegel .

In response to the award, the Notos Quartet , winner of the Echo Klassik 2017 in the Young Artist of the Year category , returned its award, as "this award tolerates open racism, even offers it a platform and distinguishes it" and the Echo trophy now "Nothing more than a symbol of shame". As a result, the musician Klaus Voormann , the pianist Igor Levit , the conductor Enoch zu Guttenberg , the rock musician Marius Müller-Westernhagen , the conductor Christian Thielemann , the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden , three former singers of the Wise Guys , the conductor Daniel Barenboim , the Staatskapelle Berlin and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra returned their echo awards. The conductor Mariss Jansons and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks distanced themselves from their awards, but did not give them back.

The President of the German Cultural Council , Christian Höppner , left the Advisory Board of the Echo Music Prize in protest, as did the President of the German Music Council , Martin Maria Krüger .

As a consequence, the juice manufacturer Voelkel and the car manufacturer Škoda announced their withdrawal as sponsors of the music award.

Days before the award ceremony, the record company Bertelsmann Music Group Entertainment (BMG) took Kollegah and Farid Bang under protection and announced: “We take artists and artistic freedom seriously, and we don't tell our artists what their lyrics should and shouldn't contain”. After days of negative reporting, BMG announced that it was "resting" on the cooperation with the two rappers for the time being.

As a result of the criticism, the award of the echo was discontinued. In addition, the public prosecutor's office in Düsseldorf initiated an investigation against the rap duo for sedition. The authority had previously received two criminal charges. In June 2018, the public prosecutor closed the investigation against Kollegah and Farid Bang.

Volker Beck and Igor Levit criticized the attitude of those responsible at the time : “The unbearable, even cowardly part of the response was that those responsible believe that they have shown responsibility by abolishing and renaming this award. It's not about the echo at all. It doesn't matter. It's about society. [...] The work, words and deeds of those who create culture are essential for a society. And cultural enablers who stage artists must be aware of this responsibility. Otherwise they are extremely dangerous. Because of their ignorance. "

Echo Prize Winner

For an overview of all award winners, see the list of Echo award winners .

Multiple winners

17 echoes
13 echoes
11 echoes
10 echoes
9 echoes
8 echoes
7 echoes
6 echoes
space nation Echoes
1 GermanyGermany Germany 1314
2 United StatesUnited States United States 261
3 United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 198
4th ItalyItaly Italy 120
5 FranceFrance France 116
6th AustriaAustria Austria 90
7th RussiaRussia Russia 86
8th SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 58
9 CanadaCanada Canada 38
10 NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands 30th
SpainSpain Spain

More records

Most echoes in one evening (4)
  • Echo Pop 2013 : Die Toten Hosen (in the categories: Group National Rock / Pop, Hit of the Year, Album of the Year, Producer / Team of the Year)GermanyGermany
  • Echo Pop 2015 : Helene Fischer (in the categories: Album of the Year, Hit of the Year, Music DVD / Blu-ray national, Schlager)GermanyGermany
  • Echo Pop 2016 : Helene Fischer (in the categories: album of the year, crossover, live act national, music DVD / Blu-ray national)GermanyGermany
Most winners in a category (13)
  • ItalyItaly Kastelruther Spatzen , the popular music group Kastelruther Spatzen won the Echo Pop 13 times in the category “Group (Schlager / Folk Music)”.
Most award winners in one category in a row (7)
  • ItalyItaly Kastelruther Spatzen , the popular music group Kastelruther Spatzen, won the Echo Pop seven times in a row from 1996 to 2003 in the "Group (Schlager / Folk Music)" category.
Youngest award winner
  • 2005 : Joy Gruttmann , at the age of nine, won an Echo Pop as the singer of the Schnappi music project in the Download of the Year category .GermanyGermany
Artists who have received at least one award in all three Echo categories (jazz, classical and pop)
No. Artist Echo jazz Echo classic Echo pop
1 GermanyGermany Till Brönner June 17, 2011 October 21, 2007 March 25, 2007

Echo Hall of Fame


  • At the 2005 Echo Pop Awards, Thomas D presented Sido with his Echo, which he won with the Fantastischen Vier in the category “Artist or Group (Hip-Hop / R & B)” .
  • At the Echo Jazz Awards 2011, the German music producer Manfred Eicher rejected his Echo, which he was to receive for his life's work.
  • At the 2015 Echo Pop Awards, Helene Fischer won an Echo Pop in the Album of the Year category for the second time with her sixth studio album, Farbenspiel, after 2014 . So far, only Grönemeyer has been able to win an echo for the same work in two different years.

Web links

Commons : Echo  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. In the beginning there was the siren. In: Der Tagesspiegel . Verlag Der Tagesspiegel GmbH, March 6, 2004, accessed on October 12, 2016 .
  2. ^ Numbers and interesting facts about the German Echo Music Prize., accessed on April 21, 2018 .
  3. ↑ A new start for the German Music Prize. Federal Association of the German Music Industry, April 25, 2018, accessed on April 25, 2018 .
  4. After the scandal: The echo is abolished. Retrieved April 25, 2018 .
  5. ↑ A new start for the German Music Prize. Retrieved April 25, 2018 .
  6. ^ Website of the Opus Klassik
  7. Martin Hufner: ECHO is now called IMA - Neuer Schall und Schwall from the music industry. NMZ Online , April 3, 2019, accessed September 6, 2019 .
  8. a b Julian Dörr: The jury reform is just a fig leaf. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . Süddeutscher Verlag , April 7, 2017, accessed on April 11, 2017 .
  9. ^ Eggs made of steel: Max Giesinger and the German industrial music. YouTube video, April 5, 2017, accessed April 13, 2018 .
  10. "Soulless commercial shit" - Böhmermann accounts with Echo. In: The world . April 6, 2017, accessed April 13, 2018 .
  11. Jens-Christian Rabe: German pop didn't deserve that. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . April 12, 2018, accessed April 13, 2018 .
  12. RTL loads Oomph! out. In: Retrieved March 4, 2018 .
  13. Frei.Wild flies off the echo list. In: March 7, 2013, accessed April 12, 2017 .
  14. David Schafbuch: Frei.Wild fans vs. Jennifer Rostock: Gray area close to the brown area. In: February 1, 2013, archived from the original on November 17, 2017 ; Retrieved April 12, 2017 .
  15. Echo Award 2014 - Frei.Wild cancels Echo participation. In: . March 21, 2014, accessed May 10, 2020 .
  16. kry / dpa: Echo 2016: Controversial band Frei.Wild gets Echo. In: Spiegel Online . April 8, 2016, accessed May 10, 2020 .
  17. Sprachreport 4/2018
  18. Sven Bloching and Jöran Landschoff: Defamations, humor and the construction of masculinity. A linguistic perspective on Farid Bangs and Kollegah's album JBG 3. In: Institute for German Language (Hrsg.): Sprachreport . Issue 4/2018, 34th year. Institute for the German Language, Mannheim 2018.
  19. "Campino is still punk". In: Spiegel Online . April 13, 2018, accessed April 17, 2018 .
  20. Oliver Polak: Echocaust - the final solution of the moral question, and you watch. In: The world. April 14, 2018. Retrieved April 14, 2018 .
  21. Felix Klein: Refugees did not discard their hatred of Jews at the border. In: April 13, 2018, accessed April 14, 2018 .
  22. Heiko Maas: Foreign Minister Maas criticizes Echo awarding to rappers as "shameful". In: Berliner Morgenpost. April 13, 2014, accessed April 14, 2018 .
  23. Peter Maffay: Statement of April 16, 2018. In: , accessed on April 18, 2018.
  24. Wolfgang Börnsen: "I stand by this decision". In: Schleswiger Nachrichten , April 18, 2018.
  25. ^ Tobias Haberkorn: Igor Levit: "Trample Auschwitz inmates is social poison". In: . April 17, 2018, accessed May 10, 2020 .
  26. Antelope Gang: Like a Fascist Agitator. In: Spiegel online. April 13, 2018, accessed April 14, 2018 .
  27. Anti-Semitism. You will probably still be able to rap ... In: Spiegel Online. February 6, 2017, accessed April 14, 2018 .
  28. "Symbol of Shame" - Echo winners return trophies. Der Spiegel, April 15, 2018, accessed April 20, 2018 .
  29. Thomas Schreiber: The fuss about Kollegah and Farid Bang never ends. Two other award winners have returned the echo. In: April 15, 2018, accessed April 16, 2018 .
  30. Conductor Christian Thielemann returns echo. In: April 20, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2018 .
  31. Jan Wördenweber: Scandal about Kollegah and Farid Bang - Now Cologne musicians are also giving their "echo" back. In: April 19, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018 .
  32. Edzard Hüneke: Help, I have an echo - what to do? In: April 20, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018 .
  33. Conductor legend Daniel Barenboim returns echoes. In: April 23, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018 .
  34. Tagesschau: Barenboim returns echoes. accessed on April 23, 2018.
  35. Symphony Orchestra under Jansons erases echo from biography. In: April 25, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018 .
  36. Marius Müller-Westernhagen returns prices. In: . April 17, 2018. Retrieved April 17, 2018 .
  37. Volker Kauder on “Echo”: “This price should be abolished”. In: April 23, 2018, accessed April 18, 2018 .
  38. BMG suspends cooperation with Kollegah and Farid Bang. In: April 23, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018 .
  39. Kollegah and Farid Bang: Investigations into sedition. Retrieved May 3, 2018 .
  40. hej / dpa: Kollegah and Farid Bang: public prosecutor's office stops investigations. In: Spiegel Online . June 16, 2018, accessed May 10, 2020 .
  41. Volker Beck, Igor Levit: Anti-Semitism: We have to feel responsible. In: . May 18, 2018, accessed May 10, 2020 .