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Katja Ebstein, whose real name is Karin Ilse Überall, is a German singer who is also an actress. She gained notoriety beyond Germany through her three-time participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, where she took third place twice and second place once. In addition to hits, she also records pop and chanson and also runs cabaret.
She was born in Silesia during World War II. She then grew up in West Berlin. After graduating from high school, she began studying, but at the same time she was already singing in student bars. She had her first TV appearance as a musician in 1964 in an ARD broadcast. As a result, a producer became aware of them, who produced their first two singles. But since these were unsuccessful, she initially continued to work as a background singer for other artists. In 1967 she was discovered at a festival for United Artists. There she received a contract and with her first two singles under the new label, the first small successes came.
In 1970 she took part in the German preliminary round for the Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson, which she won with one of her greatest hits, “Wonders are always coming back”. She also had great success with the play at the actual Grand Prix, taking third place. This made her internationally known in one fell swoop and her songs appeared in a number of other languages. In the same year, she was voted best singer at a song festival in Rio de Janeiro. A big tour followed, even through the Soviet Union and some time later also in the GDR and on TV there.
Due to her great success, she again took part in the Grand Prix for Germany in 1971 and again took third place, this time with the play “Diese Welt”.
But in addition to the hit and pop songs, she was also on the road in other directions. In 1975 she published a Heine cycle set to music. In addition, she placed more value on lyrically demanding songs, but still delivered many hits that were successful with the audience.
She also liked to borrow from musicals, e.g. B. with the piece “Don’t cry about me, Argentina”, a German version of the title song from the musical Evita.
Overall, Katja Ebstein, who chose her stage name after the street where she grew up in Berlin, has published more than 30 albums. Especially in the 1970s, she also acted in a few television films, which, however, did not leave too much of a mark beyond the attention she received at the time.
Nevertheless, her fame grew, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, through many appearances on German TV, where she took part in both talk and game shows. For a while she even had her own hit shows on TV. In contrast to the text content at the beginning of her career, she was also very politically involved, as well as in many other activities besides her music.
In the 1980s, Katja Ebstein also began a career as an actress. She played both serious roles and in musicals on stage. She didn’t record any records at the time. Her comeback as a singer in the mid-1980s did not go as well as hoped.
In the 1990s she increasingly turned to literature. She wowed her audience with texts by Georg Kreisler, Heinrich Heine and Loriot. With this kind of entertainment, she still regularly tours Germany today.
In the 2000s she accompanied the German eliminations to the ESC and was a jury member for various other music shows on TV.
In 2008 she received the Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany from the hands of Günther Beckstein. In the following years she was also more active musically and landed one or the other success in the charts. In a poll conducted by RTL for the best German singers in history, she took 12th place.
Her three participations in the ESC were definitely her greatest successes in terms of the effect on the audience, especially with such very good rankings at the end. Her biggest hit, which is inseparably linked to her to this day, is the piece “Wonders are always coming back”.
“Willy Brandt was my political teacher.”
“In the beginning it was very exhausting for me to get involved in something that gave me too little communication.”
“To me, husband and wife are also a family. You can also give a lot that way.”
In 2017, at the instigation of the Brandenburg state parliament, she was allowed to take part in the federal assembly that elected Frank-Walter Steinmeier as federal president.
It supports development aid projects in Mali and Peru.
Katja Ebstein, twice married, has no children, her second husband died of lung cancer in 2008, which she only made public in 2009.
She also supports the “Artists for Christ” association, which helps persecuted Christians all over the world.