Michelle (German singer)

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Michelle in November 2009

Michelle is the stage name of German singer Tanja Shitawey (née Hewer). She was born in Villingen-Schwenningen on 15 February 1972.[1] She represented Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 2001 with the song Wer Liebe lebt ("To Live for Love"),[2] which placed eighth from 23 participating countries with 66 points.[3] She is one of the most popular singers of Germany during the last decade.

Career[edit]

Michelle has been singing in local amateur bands since age 14. Through a friend who was working at a state broadcast company, she got the chance to perform on German TV in 1993. The popular German singer Kristina Bach recognized Michelle's talent. A little bit later, the songwriter Jean Frankfurter wrote and produced the song Und heut' nacht will ich tanzen ("And Tonight I Wanna Dance") for her. Michelle's first single became a great success. Michelle got the chance to perform at ZDF-Hitparade, one of Germany's most popular music shows of the time. Her performance made her popular throughout the country.

Afterwards she participated in several German pop music festivals, for example the preliminary competitions for the Eurovision Song Contest or the traditional "Deutsches Schlagerfestival". She won the latter in 1997 with her single Wie Flammen im Wind ("As flames in the wind"). The album, with the same name, gained her her first TOP 10 success in Germany. The following years marked the heyday of her career, gaining her two more TOP 10 albums, golden records and the chance to represent Germany in 2001's Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen.[3]

In 2003, she decided to take a break to cure out some major health problems, both physical and psychical. Her 2005 comeback album Leben ("Life") was another success, reaching TOP 3 in Germany and was awarded another golden record. Afterwards she started a modelling career and released My Passion, a cover album of disco classics.[4] After a breakdown on stage on 30 January 2007, she had to cancel her 2007 tour of Germany due to health problems. In March 2007, Tanja Shitawey decided to put the "project" Michelle to an end.

In October 2009,[5] she released a new album called Goodbye Michelle and played several concerts and TV shows, explaining she wanted "to give her fans a real farewell". She stated, however, that this was definitely her final album under the name Michelle. The new single from her album Goodbye Michelle will be Nur noch dieses Lied. It's the second single after the song Goodbye Michelle. The third single will be Gefallener Engel in May 2010.

In November 2010, she released her new album "Der beste Moment". In March 2012, she released the album "L'amour" including her new hit "Große Liebe"..

In March 2014 she released "The Ultimate Best of" album including seven new songs. Her new single hit is "Paris". The second single from her album is "Herzstillstand", released July 2014.

Private life[edit]

Michelle grew up in Blumberg with a sister and a brother in a difficult social background, her parents being violent alcoholics. At the age of 10 she became a foster child.[6]

Michelle's love life inspired the media, especially the yellow press, as much as her music did. She has dated several German TV and music business celebrities, including Tagesschau presenter Jens Riewa and singer Matthias Reim, who fathered one of her daughters. Michelle used to live with her second husband Josef Shitawey and her three children in North Rhine-Westphalia. In 2011 she began a new relationship, with the Dutch firefighter Mike. In 2013 the couple announced their intention to move to the Netherlands.

References[edit]

Preceded by
Stefan Raab
with Wadde hadde dudde da?
Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest
2001
Succeeded by
Corinna May
with I Can't Live Without Music