|Estimated value:||€2.5 million|
|Country of origin:||Germany|
|Source of Wealth:||Singer|
“Der Graf” is the singer, lyricist and composer of “Unheilig”.
The artist deliberately withholds his real name, his date of birth and other information about his private life from the public. According to the Bild newspaper, his real name is Bernd Heinrich Graf. There are other speculations as well. He was probably born in Aachen in 1970. Other sources name Würselen as the place of birth. He made his first musical experiences in a children’s choir in his hometown. “Der Graf” began his professional life with an apprenticeship as a dental technician. However, he did not complete this and instead signed up for four years in the Bundeswehr as a contract soldier. This was followed by training as a hearing aid acoustician, who apparently completed it.
The band “Unheilig” was launched in 1999 by the “Grafen” together with two fellow campaigners, the Australian singer, songwriter and composer Grant Steven and the producer José Alvarez-Brill. The roots of the typical sound of “Unheilig” lie in the “black gothic scene” and are characterized by electronic music and dark rock. The first single release entitled “Ja” became a hit in the alternative rock hit parade in 2000. The debut album entitled “Phosphor” followed in 2001. Here “der Graf” still sang partly in English, while in the following years he wrote texts exclusively in German. Two years after “Phosphor” another album called “The Second Commandment” was released. “Der Graf” separated from his bandmates in 2002 after profound differences and from then on appeared as a solo artist while keeping the name “Unheilig”. He released the albums Zelluloid and Modern Times in 2004 and 2006. The latter reached number 76 in the German charts. Two years later “Puppenspiel” was published.
With the release of the album “Große Freiheit” and the hit single “Born to live” he managed to step out of the “black scene” and become better known to a wide audience in 2010. The same commercial success was also bestowed on the follow-up work “Lichter der Großstadt”. The singles “So wie du warst” and “Lichter der Stadt” reached good chart positions. The success of the album was repeated with the publication of the so-called “Winter Edition”. “Der Graf” competed with two songs in the preliminary round for the German contribution to the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, but only took 2nd place. This was followed by a concert tour under the motto “Best of”.
October 5th, 2014 was a black day for the fans, because “der Graf” announced in an open letter that he intended to end the “Unheilig” project after the last album release and a tour. The farewell then took place in installments: “Gipfelstürmer” – the supposedly last studio work came on December 14, 2014 on the market, a few months later followed a live album of the farewell tour, which carried the programmatic title “Time to go”. About a year later, a recording of an MTV unplugged concert “Unter Dampf – Unter Strom” was released, followed by another tour with open-air performances in 2016 (“One Last Time”). Although “Gipfelstürmer” had already been announced as a farewell work, “der Graf” brought out a final album with “From Human to Human”. After the official end of “Unheilig”, another best-of work came out in 2017 called “Pures Gold – Best of Vol. 2”, followed by another hit compilation entitled “Alles hat his time – Best of Unheilig 1999-2014”. “Der Graf” went on a concert tour with the “Dark Tenor” in 2017.
The album “Große Freiheit” stayed at number 1 in the German charts for 23 weeks and sold two million copies. In 2010, “der Graf” won the Bundesvision Song Contest with the song “Unter dein Flagge” and received the “Bambi” in the “Pop National” category. Overall, “Unheilig” has won the music award “Echo” five times, the DIVA Award twice and the “Comet” once. In 2013, “Unheilig” was awarded the “Golden Camera” for “Best National Music”. The laudation was given by pop singer Helene Fischer, who had previously sung a duet with the “Count”. In the RTL show “The Ultimate Chart Show” the title “Born to live” was voted number 2 of the 100 most popular German hits by the audience.
“Der Graf” commented to “Stern” on the criticism from the “black scene” regarding his commercial success as follows: “It’s strange, for years people have been telling me how important my music is to them, and then I change it little about my looks, ditch the black nail polish and those white vampire contact lenses, and suddenly my music doesn’t count anymore. Suddenly you say: He’s singing commercial ballads now. He’s not one of us anymore. I still don’t understand that to this day. When you don’t have the acceptance of the people you’ve known for so long, it hurts.”
|Estimated value:||€2.5 million|