Most Influential and Important German Music Artists of the 21st CenturyThis is a list not about the best German music artists of the 21st century, but the most important. Those whose success undeniably formed contemporary German music and pop culture and sparked
The Top Ten
Made German language hip hop a big thing in the beginning of the 21st century and remains the most successful German rap artist to date. Several of the big names in the German rap game were influenced by him. He still is a leading figure in German pop culture and heavily polarizing.
After 12 years, "Electro Ghetto" is off the index! Woo hoo!
Now, we need "Vom Bordstein bis zur Skyline" back, the most important German hip hop record ever.
In the mid-2000s all of Germany's media was centered around Tokio Hotel, despite the band having been very polarizing sinve their start. They made emo a thing in Germany (even though right now it isn't) and caused several student bands and young solo artists try out something more rock-oriented - LaFee, Debbie rockt and Killerpilze owe their success to Tokio Hotel's popularity. Also, Bill's look opened the German music market for androgynous people, like the band Cinema Bizarre that on the other hand were influenced by anime and manga.
Schlager has always been a successful, yet not very acclaimed German genre, but one mostly elderly people listened to. In the early 2010s, Helene Fischer released her song "Atemlos durch die Nacht", which became as big as a song can get in Germany. Her "Farbenspiel" albums was awarded ten times platinum. All of a sudden, the Schlager genre became one of the most popular among German teens next to hip hop and as popular as never before.
Just when rappers like Kollegah and Farid Bang, who were known for their masculinity, brutal and dark lyrics and focus on style, became popular in the 2010s, Cro appeared with an easy going flow that's almost sung, interpolating pop and indie elements, rapping about more relaxing topics with simple lyricism in a laid back style.
Cro's style became instantly popular with modern teens and opened the market for pop, indie and hip hop artists with a similar style.
Simply put: Dieter Bohlen (Ex-Modern Talking) is the head behind two extremely successful talent search shows, the German editions of American Idol and America's Got Talent, writes and produces the winners' entire material as well as several other hits by popular artists, such as Andrea Berg or Yvonne Catterfeld.
Kollegah's unusually great rapping skills brought the center of attention to multisyllabic rhyming schemes, witty wordplay and the ability to use doubletime rap. Before that, it was more important for German rappers to create a dark tone, but after Kollegah's breakthrough in the early 2010s being a good rapper meant having techniques almost as good as Kollegah. Other newer rappers that have been noted for doing that are Farid Bang, SpongeBozz or Majoe, among others.
Next to Bushido, it was Sido who brought German hip hop to mainstream attention. However, unlike Bushido, who made gangster rap that was widely copied, Sido was initially known for crass, crude and politically incorrect humor with perfect delivery, much like Eminem on the Slim Shady LP.
Wir sind Helden's unlikrly career opened the market for female fronted German language bands in the mid-2000s, including such hugely successful artists as Silbermond, Juli or Christina Stürmer and her band.
No Angels were the first successful band that was formed in a talent search show. They are one of the few who are still remembered today and had several hits even a few years after having won. Without their success, such talent search shows wouldn't have been as big in the years to come.
The best German metal band. They've been around for more than 30 years and they are still great.
They are however not widely known in Germany, maybe in metal circles, but they get no notable media coverage or airplay.