Falco (19.02.1957 - 06.02.1998)

Falco was born in Vienna on 19 February 1957. As a child, he went by the decidedly more bourgeois name of Hans Hölzel.

Following his parents' seperation, Falco was raised by his mother Maria, and received his first musical instrument as a present at the tender age of four. From this moment onwards, music was to define the direction of his entire life. After spending six months studying at the Conservatoire of the City of Vienna, Hans Hölzel knew that he wanted to be a professional musician. This was to have a negative influence on his wider education, however, as he left school at 16 and went on to struggle through early adult life with a series of casual jobs.

He first attempted to make a living out of music with a series of instantly forgettable bands such as 'Umspannwerk' and 'Drahdiwaberl'.

He eventually took on the artistic name Falco in recognition of ski jumper Falko Weisspflog, whose heady heights of sporting success he wished to emulate in the music world.

By the beginning of the 1980s he was beginning to make an impact with hits including the solo number 'Ganz Wien'. No other Austrian song title summed up the mood of the city in the early eighties like 'Ganz Wien', and the track was also to gain the dubious distinction of being Falco's first song to be banned from airplay on Austrian radio.

Falco eventually made his breakthrough on the national and international stage with the song 'Der Kommissar'.

In 1985, Falco eventually succeeded in reaching another milestone in Austrian pop music history with the song 'Amadeus', as the track went to No. 1 in the US American charts.

Following on from the success of Amadeus, his singles 'Vienna Calling' and 'Jeanny' became huge sellers throughout Europe. However, the high expectations that these successes had created and the huge emotional pressures that this exerted on the person of Hans Hölzel combined to leave his private life in tatters.

By 1996 this pressure had become too much for Falco, and he finally turned his back on his hometown of Vienna. He attempted to prepare for his comeback without further disruption by relocating to the Caribbean. Shortly after finishing his final CD, however, Falco was fatally injured on 6 February 1998 as a result of a road accident in his adopted home in the Dominican Republic.

Although he had originally intended to release it under the title 'Egoisten', Falco's final CD eventually came out posthumously, entitled 'Out of the dark...into the light'. It was another huge success.