|Estimated value:||€72 million|
|Country of origin:||South Africa|
|Source of Wealth:||crooner|
Good cuddle bard, Elvis impersonator and passionate golfer – Howard Carpendale has many facets and has been in the racket business for decades. His trademark: the flaxen blow-dried haircut and his unmistakable accent, from which you don’t really know whether “Howie”, as his fans affectionately call him, can’t help it or doesn’t want to do it any other way…
Howard Victor Carpendale was born on January 14th, 1946 in Durban, South Africa. His parents, Douglas and Beatrice, send him to school there. It’s not easy for him. He gets teased for being a bit chubby. Nobody suspects that in just a few years he will grow so much that he will develop into a real sports cannon in various disciplines. Rugby, cricket and shot put are on the programme. In the latter, he even attained the junior championship title. And it almost looks as if he will stay on this career path.
But Carpendale is aware that he doesn’t have much of a chance of becoming a sports professional in his home country. South Africa’s apartheid policy prevents the country from participating in international competitions. So in the 60’s Carpendale tried his luck in Great Britain, wanting to be a professional cricketer. There he experiences a largely liberal everyday life, a coexistence between blacks and whites that he never got to know in his homeland. Racial segregation was part of his everyday life as a child. Although he used to have black friends himself, he had always been aware that there was an invisible barrier. The media in South Africa did not explain to him at the time that it was very different in large parts of the world. As well as? The Carpendale family didn’t even own a television.
In Great Britain, Howard Carpendale finally begins to see the world through different eyes. As for the hoped-for cricket career, things are not going so well. Carpendale doesn’t have what it takes to become a real big star in this field. But there is still a plan B: the music. Carpendale had already performed as Elvis Presley in South Africa and had even won a talent competition with his amazingly similar voice. A record deal followed, an album was released, but the big success never materialized. In Great Britain, Carpendale now becomes a member of a band and goes on an only moderately successful tour with them, including to Germany. He gets a taste and stays there.
His next path leads him to a record studio and he convinces with his performance. He was offered a contract and soon the first album was released. “Life Sentence” becomes a box office hit. Carpendale sings in German. And with his song “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da”, the cover of the well-known Beatles song, he made his breakthrough in Germany in 1969. He wins a hit song competition and conquers the hearts of women.
When his career threatens to come to an unexpected standstill, Carpendale quickly becomes self-employed, writing and producing his own songs. Again he sings existing, popular hits by other artists in German, including hits like “Ti amo” or “Tür an Tür mit Alice”. The plan works and Howard Carpendale is only now becoming really popular. His big hit “Hello again” dominated the German hit parade for 25 weeks. Carpendale goes on tour and becomes one of the most popular singers of the Schlager genre in his adopted country. In the meantime, he even appears in six feature films.
The career lasts until 2003. Then he doesn’t want to anymore. Carpendale goes on tour again, the fans are at his feet. Still, the Carpendale era is coming to an end – at least until 2007, when he decides to return to the limelight. In the following ten years he released numerous albums and gave concerts again. His success is unabated. It seems like he’s never been away. And this despite the fact that in the meantime he had also been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Luckily for him, the disease progresses without any major symptoms.
Carpendale has a son, named Wayne, from his first marriage to his ex-wife Claudia, and another son, Cass, from his subsequent relationship with American Donnice Pierce, whom he married in 2018. In the meantime he has also become a grandfather.
Pricing is “not really his thing,” he says. Only the gold record means something to him because it is a recognition from his audience. Nevertheless, he has received many awards for his 36 albums, which he has sold over 50 million copies between 1968 and 2017, including three Echo, two Golden Europa, four Golden Tuning Forks and one Löwe Radio Luxemburg. The biggest highlight of his career may have been the moment his popularity started rolling again after a long hiatus, and the fact that few other foreign stars of the hit genre have enjoyed such popularity as Howard Carpendale.
When asked about his feelings about home, Carpendale doesn’t want to commit himself: he was born in South Africa, but has lived permanently in Germany and America and therefore feels somehow connected to all three nations. Nevertheless, it was Germany where he had his greatest successes. “Today I feel more like a German than an American or a South African,” he explains and does not shy away from defending his established place in the adopted country. When the South African head of state Nelson Mandela paid a visit to the city of Bonn in the 90s, Carpendale said to him jokingly: “I warn you, don’t come to Germany and try to be the most famous South African, because I already have the job.”
Howard Carpendale makes no secret of the fact that he fell into a prolonged depression after his temporary retirement from the music business. In his biography, published in 2016, he speaks more openly than ever about toying with the idea of taking his own life. However, the self-chosen end of his music career and the associated crisis of meaning and lack of planning were not the main reason for this phase. Many factors played a role in this. However, thanks to medical, therapeutic and family support, Carpendale managed to find himself again. He also came back into contact with the music scene and realized that he just couldn’t stop singing. Today he is doing well again, but he believes that a certain melancholy is part of life and even has a beneficial effect on his creativity. However, he cannot be really happy.
|Estimated value:||€72 million|