Gitte Hænning

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Gitte Hænning at the Cover Me 2005 benefit concert organized by the German AIDS Association in Cologne
Gitte Hænning 2010

Gitte Hænning-Johansson (born June 29, 1946 in Aarhus , Denmark ) is a Danish singer and actress . With her hit Ich will 'nen Cowboy als Mann , she became one of the most popular interpreters of German-language hits in 1963 . Since the 1980s she has appeared as a mature pop singer with sophisticated texts by the librettist Michael Kunze . Her repertoire also includes blues , jazz , musicals and Danish folk songs .


Hænning first appeared on stage in her Danish homeland in November 1954 at the age of eight. Her father Otto Johansson (born November 19, 1916 - † February 7, 2004) was a singing teacher and paved her way into show business when he recorded the successful German hit Ich heirate Pappi in Danish ( Giftes med farmand ) with her (published on 20. October 1954). In 1958, the blonde girl was considered the most famous child star in all of Scandinavia , had already made appearances on television, in film and on the musical stage, and had sung about 16 records. From the end of the 1950s, it also published in German. Since the early 1960s she was very successful in the Danish and Swedish charts. In January 1963 she had her very first number one hit in Denmark with Ta 'med ud a fisk . In the same year she was not only in Germany but also in Sweden with Kom ned på jorden igen in 1st place. So in 1963 she had three different No. 1 hits in three countries, plus a fourth No. 1 in a duet with Rex Gildo . She also took part in the national final of the Danish preliminary decision for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1962 with the song Jeg snakker med mig selv . However, this song was disqualified. A year later she tried again with the song Lille sarte kvinde and thus took 4th place in the preliminary round.

Nils Nobach discovered her in 1960 for the German hit market and brokered a record deal with Electrola for her . After initially moderate success, she won the German Schlager Festival in Baden-Baden in 1963 with the title I want 'nen cowboy as a man , which then also became a number 1 hit in Germany.

Gitte (left) with her father (right) 1957

In the following years, Gitte mostly appeared together with the pop singer Rex Gildo . They were the most popular duo on the German pop market in the mid-1960s . With Vom Stadtpark die Laternen , she had another number one hit in 1963. The duo Gitte / Rex Gildo placed six more singles until 1965, the most successful of which were now the world revolves around you and two on a bench . Gitte also published solo singles in German, Danish and Swedish, most of which appeared in the upper middle of the sales lists. By the 1970s she had 15 hits in Denmark and 10 hits in Sweden (here she had two more # 1 hits in 1965 and 1966). She was often a guest on television shows. She had encounters with jazz at an early age . In 1968 the enthusiastic jazz lover recorded the album My Kind of World with the renowned Kenny Clarke / Francy Boland Big Band , which at the time was favorably received by the critics, but only many years later by the public as a new release on CD under the title Out of This World , was noticed.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Gitte had success with the singles. After all , you have to be able to say no , problems , but secretly , millionaire , white roses , then you came and rainbow . She has covered her own German and international hits in Danish several times.

In 1973 she started for Germany with the title Young Day at the Eurovision Song Contest and finished eighth. In the 1970s she was able to achieve good hit parade placements with hits such as No man can be so beautiful (1975) and Let me not alone today (1976), as always, and achieved good hit parade placements with Ich hab die Liebe playful in Monte Carlo (1974), albeit close, even the top ten . The two male members of the ABBA group produced the title Happy-End for Gitte , which appeared on a single A-page in 1976. In 1978 she took part in the preliminary decision for the Eurovision Song Contest in Luxembourg with the song Rien qu'une femme and took third place behind Baccarat . Again and again, Gitte had her own personality shows on television (1974, 1978, 1981, 1983). While she established herself as a show star in Germany, she continued to publish in Scandinavia, but with decreasing success. In 1979 she played at the Stadttheater Oberhausen together with Silvio Francesco and Horst Jüssen in the musical "I love my wife".

A change in image towards a serious pop interpreter in the early 1980s also brought her the attention of critics. Don't be too early (the German version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit Take That Look Off Your Face ) became a huge success in 1980 (10th place). The piece of music was part of the one-act musical for one person Tell Me on a Sunday, written by Lloyd Webber and recorded in the original by Marti Webb . Gitte Hænning recorded a German version of the musical under the title Stay until Sunday . In 1980 she received the German Record Award for this concept album. After that, The Woman Who Loves You (composed by the Bee Gees in 1980 for Barbra Streisand ), Something Has Happened (1981), I Want Everything (1983) and Stage Fright (1983) were her best-known hits. As a token of her emancipation , Gitte now also put her last name on the record sleeves. During this time, she also impressed with several concept albums such as Ungeschminkt (1982), the particularly successful touches (1983), for which she received her first gold record , and now even more so (1987). Hænning performed live on tour in 1984 (touch tour), 1988 (now even more tour) and 1993 (love tour). Her two CDs Liebster (1993) and My Favorite Songs (1998), both released by WEA, were less successful, however. She also advertised the Mon Chéri praline from the Italian manufacturer Ferrero in the 1980s .

In the 1990s, Hænning played for several months in Berlin in the musical Shakespeare & Rock'n'Roll, which was produced by Friedrich Kurz (her partner at the time). A little later she also belonged to the ensemble of the successful Berlin tent performances of Die Zauberflöte , directed by George Tabori . Occasionally she made guest appearances in festival-like music programs. A jazz concert for her father Otto Hænning in the Komische Oper in Berlin in 1997 was a great success. The Songs for My Father concert was also released as a live CD.

From 2001 to 2003 she successfully toured Germany with her in-jazz program. She continues to perform with this program up to the present day. In November 2004 Gitte celebrated her 50th stage anniversary with a small series of concerts and sang old and new songs. To mark the anniversary, she released two new CD albums she had produced herself - a live jazz album from the In Jazz Tour and the pop album Johansson, which is dedicated to her father, who died in 2004.

Gitte, Wencke, Siw 2005 in Frankfurt

From June 2004 to the end of 2007, Hænning was together with Wencke Myhre and Siw Malmkvist with the program Gitte, Wencke, Siw - Die Show ("GWS-Die Show") over 500 times in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Bremen , in Switzerland and Austria as well as in numerous other places on stage. In addition to their Scandinavian origins, she has many similar stations in show business with the two colleagues. The published live CD of the show reached number 100 in the official German sales charts in spring 2005.

In 1980, Gitte Hænning was last successful in her home country for a long time until Sunday with the Danish version of Bleib . The LP reached the 4th place there. Only a few best-of CDs followed, but no more new recordings. The sales success of the 4-CD box The Complete Popbok 1958–1965 in the spring of 2006, which was able to place up to 8th place in Denmark's album charts, was therefore surprising .

In November 2006, the documentary I want everything - The Gitte Hænning Story by filmmaker Marc Boettcher premiered at the Nordic Film Days Lübeck and was later shown on television. In June 2007 the film was released on DVD and a double CD was released.

At the end of August 2007, the record company Sony BMG released the three successful albums, Stay up to Sunday, Unscaled and Touches again in a 3-CD box. All three albums have not been available in stores since the late 1980s and are now available to fans again.

In autumn 2007 Gitte Hænning could be seen live in Germany again. She toured through German theaters and concert halls with an orchestra she had put together with the jazz-oriented program Ich will . From October 2008 Gitte Hænning and her 13-person orchestra were on tour with the pop-oriented program Ich will alles - Tour 2008 . She continued the tour in 2009 and 2010 with the concert tour I want everything .

From the end of May to July 2010 she played and sang in the Shakespeare theater production of Was Ihr wollt under the direction of Armin Holz at the Ruhr Festival in Marl and then at the Renaissance Theater (Berlin) the role of “fool”. In November 2010, Hænning released a new album consisting of new recordings of their greatest hits and four new songs entitled Was ihr wollt . This enabled her to return to the German charts as a soloist after 27 years.

Gitte Hænning was seen at the side of professional dance partner Gennady Bondarenko in the RTL dance show Let's Dance in 2012 , from which she dropped out in the fourth round because of the death of her four-year-old sister.

From May 2014 to January 2015 she was back on a theater stage. In the two-person play Love Letters , she and Egon Madsen acted in the Theaterhaus Stuttgart .

From March 2015 she performed with her program All by myself .

In October 2016 she premiered at Theater Lübeck in the role of Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Sunset Boulevard , directed by Michael Wallner .

From autumn 2017 she performed with the program My Friends, My Heroes, Your Gitte! on. Here she interpreted a few of her own songs, but songs by Udo Lindenberg , Rio Reiser and international standards.

Again she took on a role in a musical from September 2018. In Hamburg's Mehr! -Theater am Großmarkt she was seen as the aging dance teacher Hannah in the stage version of the cult film Flashdance from the eighties in a speaking role.


In the mid-sixties she was in a relationship with the Danish jazz musician Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen . In the late 1960s and early 1970s she lived with the composer Robert Cornford in London and Rome. Gitte married her manager Jo Geistler in 1974. However, the marriage ended in divorce in 1976. In the 1980s, director Pit Weyrich was her partner for several years . In the 1990s the musical producer Friedrich Kurz was at her side.

Gitte Hænning has been living in Berlin for several years.

Discography (predominantly German-language selection)

Chart placements
Explanation of the data
Stay until Sunday
  DE 42 09/08/1980 (8 weeks)
  DE 9 
10/31/1983 (37 weeks)
  CH 28 01/15/1984 (1 week)
Live with stage fright on tour (as Gitte Hænning)
  DE 56 06/11/1984 (2 weeks)
Gitte, Wencke, Siw - The Show
  DE 100 03/07/2005 (1 week)
The complete Popboks 1958–1965
  DK 8th 04/21/2006 (5 weeks)
What you want
  DE 94 December 03, 2010 (1 week)
Varje stjärna i det blå (I've Told Every Little Star)
  SE 9 1961 (14 weeks)
Borta bra, hemma bäst
  SE 19th 1961 (1 week)
Do what you want
  SE 9 1961 (9 weeks)
Ta 'med ud a fisk
  DK 1Template: Infobox chart placements / maintenance / NR1 link 01/28/1963 (18 weeks)
We're gonna go fishin '
  SE 7th 1963 (7 weeks)
I want a cowboy for a man
  DE 1Template: Infobox chart placements / maintenance / NR1 link 07/26/1963 (21 weeks)
  DK 9 07/29/1963 (11 weeks)
Kom ned pa jord'n igen / Kom ned på jorden igen
  DK 3 07/29/1963 (14 weeks)
  SE 1Template: Infobox chart placements / maintenance / NR1 link 08/25/1963 (14 weeks)
From the city park the lanterns (with Rex Gildo)
  DE 1Template: Infobox chart placements / maintenance / NR1 link 08/23/1963 (26 weeks)
  DK 10 1963 (13 weeks)
You shall be able to do this
  DK 3 December 23, 1963 (14 weeks)
Just a little luck
  DE 17th December 27, 1963 (13 weeks)
  DK 19th 06/29/1964 (1 week)
Two on a Bench (with Rex Gildo)
  DE 13th 02/21/1964 (13 weeks)
Now the world is all about you (with Rex Gildo)
  DE 8th 05/29/1964 (21 weeks)
Hocus pocus (with Rex Gildo)
  DE 15th 09/25/1964 (9 weeks)
Det måste handa något kul
  SE 8th 1964 (1 week)
This is the blue beat
  DE 46 11/27/1964 (5 weeks)
Nashville Tennessee
  DE 34 04/02/1965 (6 weeks)
Your happiness is my happiness (with Rex Gildo)
  DE 20th 04/30/1965 (11 weeks)
Det kan väl inte jag rå för (Poupé de cire, poupé de son)
  SE 1Template: Infobox chart placements / maintenance / NR1 link 05/22/1965 (7 weeks)
Glöm bort i morgon
  SE 9 06/19/1965 (1 week)
Lille dukke
  DK 6th 07.1965 (13 weeks)
Sweet Hawaii (with Rex Gildo)
  DE 33 09/17/1965 (2 weeks)
He has a motorboat
  DE 29 11/19/1965 (4 weeks)
Det är så lätt att leva livet (My Love)
  SE 1Template: Infobox chart placements / maintenance / NR1 link 05/14/1966 (14 weeks)
After all, you have to be able to say no at times
  DE 14th 08/19/1966 (15 weeks)
I protest
  DE 17th 01/13/1967 (9 weeks)
How your mother is
  DE 21 08/19/1967 (6 weeks)
Man bör veta hur man ska säga nej (you have to be able to say no)
  SE 5 06/18/1967 (6 weeks)
Love is not a row of rings
  DE 25th 01/22/1967 (5 weeks)
Klara and Carla and Trine
  DK 6th 01/15/1968 (6 weeks)
Kaerlighed he ingen leg
  DK 2 01/22/1968 (18 weeks)
  DE 22nd 01/26/1968 (9 weeks)
Onsk mig tillykke
  DK 5 05/13/1968 (7 weeks)
But secretly
  DE 25th 08/09/1968 (2 weeks)
Vi danser
  DK 2 10/21/1968 (14 weeks)
Drom en lille drom om mig
  DK 20th 02/10/1969 (1 week)
  DE 26 05/09/1969 (7 weeks)
White roses
  DE 13th 09/26/1969 (13 weeks)
  AT 10 January 15, 1970 (8 weeks)
Then you came
  DE 28 02/06/1970 (7 weeks)
  DK 9 01/04/1971 (1 week)
  DE 48 October 29, 1971 (1 week)
Young day
  DE 19th March 31, 1973 (9 weeks)
  DK 21 04/30/1973 (3 weeks)
About the day
  DK 8th 04/16/1973 (11 weeks)
I gambled away love in Monte Carlo
  DE 10 08/09/1974 (15 weeks)
No man can be that beautiful
  DE 14th December 06, 1974 (23 weeks)
I am not a child of sadness
  DE 43 07/04/1975 (5 weeks)
Don't leave me alone today
  DE 13th 03/19/1976 (17 weeks)
Bye-bye, bel Ami
  DE 34 07/08/1977 (5 weeks)
Just don't get excited too soon
  DE 10 07/04/1980 (22 weeks)
The woman who loves you
  DE 12th December 05, 1980 (13 weeks)
Something's Happened (Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart)
  DE 28 06/12/1981 (16 weeks)
I want it all
  DE 42 03/25/1983 (12 weeks)
Stage Fright (as Gitte Hænning)
  DE 27 December 23, 1983 (8 weeks)

Studio albums

  • 1967: Every boy is different
  • 1968: Stop the boys
  • 1969: My Kind of World (Re-release 2005: Gitte Hænning Meets the Francy Boland Kenny Clarke Big Band)
  • 1975: I'm not a child of sadness
  • 1976: What would I be without you
  • 1977: rainbow
  • 1980: Stay until Sunday
  • 1982: no makeup
  • 1983: touches
  • 1987: Especially now
  • 1993: Dearest
  • 1998: My Favorite Songs
  • 2004: Johansson
  • 2010: what you want

Live albums

  • 1984: On tour with stage fright
  • 2001: Songs for My Father
  • 2004: Jazz
  • 2005: Gitte, Wencke, Siw - The Show


  • 1974: Meeting with Gitte
  • 1986: milestones
  • 1991: Love Songs
  • 1995: Gitte - Simply the best
  • 1999: I want a cowboy as a man - The Singles 1959–1963
  • 1999: Just a Little Luck - The Singles 1963–1967
  • 2007: I want everything - The Gitte Hænning story
  • 2007: Misty
  • 2014: Best of

German-speaking singles (selection) 1959–1969

  • 1959: No School Tomorrow
  • 1960: Being young is not so easy (Heartaches at Sweet Sixteen)
  • 1960: I'm sorry
  • 1961: That Comes From It (Breakin 'in a Brand New Heart)
  • 1963: I want a cowboy as a man
  • 1963: From the city park the lanterns (duet with Rex Gildo )
  • 1964: Just a little luck
  • 1964: Two on a Bench (Duet with Rex Gildo)
  • 1964: Now the world revolves around you (duet with Rex Gildo)
  • 1964: If you are musical
  • 1964: Hocus pocus (duet with Rex Gildo)
  • 1964: This is the blue beat
  • 1965: Nashville Tennessee
  • 1965: Yours is my happiness (duet with Rex Gildo)
  • 1965: Sweet Hawaii (duet with Rex Gildo)
  • 1965: He has a motorboat
  • 1965: ... and the sky is crying (You Were on My Mind)
  • 1966: After all, you have to be able to say no
  • 1967: I protest
  • 1967: How your mother is
  • 1967: Love is not a row of rings
  • 1968: problems
  • 1968: But secretly
  • 1968: The Souvenirs of You (Sweet Souvenirs of Stefan)
  • 1969: millionaire
  • 1969: White roses


  • 1970: Mini or Maxi
  • 1970: Then you came
  • 1971: rainbow
  • 1972: The Man from Sacramento (Sacramento - A Wonderful Town)
  • 1972: Everyone wants only one thing (Loco por ti)
  • 1973: Young day
  • 1973: Then comes the memory
  • 1974: I gambled away love in Monte Carlo
  • 1974: No man can be that beautiful
  • 1975: I'm not a child of sadness
  • 1975: Like you to me, so I to you
  • 1976: Don't leave me alone today
  • 1976: happy ending
  • 1977: Bye, bye bel ami
  • 1977: Shake Me
  • 1978: Don't make me weak (Rien qu'une femme)
  • 1978: Dreaming of Hollywood (No Hollywood Movie)
  • 1979: Then she dances alone


  • 1980: Do That To Me One More Time
  • 1980: Don't be too early (Take that Look off Your Face )
  • 1980: The woman who loves you (Woman in Love, )
  • 1981: I'll never leave you alone (Half the Way)
  • 1981: Something happened (Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart )
  • 1982: Uninhibited (Physical)
  • 1982: The Call (He Called) (My First Love)
  • 1982: I am strong
  • 1982: I want everything
  • 1983: tears? - Maybe
  • 1983: stage fright
  • 1983: Only you love like this
  • 1984: love - no thanks!
  • 1986: But it's not love
  • 1987: Sun & Moon
  • 1988: upwards
  • 1988: You are doing me so good
  • 1989: Mac Arthur Park (All the Dreams We Had) (MacArthur Park)

since 1990

  • 1993: please stop (stop!)
  • 1993: See you later
  • 1993: Ice cold
  • 2004: Dance of the World
  • 2005: Sturmkind
  • 2005: spring
  • 2010: The Woman Who Loves You (Version 2010)
  • 2011: Something begins with every farewell
  • 2011: salt in the air

Films (selection)

Gitte Hænning in Aarhus Denmark 2014 (Photo Hreinn Gudlaugsson)


Web links

Commons : Gitte Hænning  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. ^ - Brand history: Mon Cheri. In: Retrieved May 5, 2016 .
  2. Lübecker Nachrichten , 23./24. October 2016, p. 33
  3. a b Chart sources: DK DE AT CH
  4. Awards: DE