Dschinghis Khan

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Dschinghis Khan
Moscow reunion concert 2005
Moscow reunion concert 2005
Background information
OriginMunich, West Germany
Years active1979–1985, 2005–present
LabelsJupiter Records
MembersSiegel lineup
Claus Kupreit
Angelika Erlacher
Läm Virat Phetnoi
Marco Matias
Selina Kohl
Michael Thurner
Track lineup
Stefan Track
Leila Melikova
Tatiana Gerisamova
Denis Loginov
Past membersWolfgang Heichel
Henriette Strobel
Edina Pop
Steve Bender (deceased)
Louis Hendrik Potgieter (deceased)
Leslie Mándoki
Johannes Kupreit (deceased)
WebsiteSiegel faction
Track faction

Dschinghis Khan (German pronunciation: [ˌdʒɪŋɡɪs ˈkaːn]; "Genghis Khan") is a German Eurodisco pop band. It was originally formed in Munich[2][3] in 1979 to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest with their song "Dschinghis Khan".

The original group consisted of six members: Louis Hendrik Potgieter, Edina Pop, Henriette Strobel, Wolfgang Heichel, Leslie Mándoki, and Steve Bender, performed from 1979 to their first disbandment in 1985.

In 2005, the surviving Dschinghis Khan members reunited to recreate the music group, but years later they separately organized different bands all under the brand name "Dschinghis Khan".


Beginning: 1979–1985[edit]

Dschinghis Khan was managed by German producer Ralph Siegel and choreographed by Hannes Winkler, one of the most famous German choreographers during that time.[4] [5] [6] Their original eponymous song was written and produced by Siegel with lyrics by Bernd Meinunger and came in fourth place at the Eurovision Song Contest 1979 in Jerusalem. Their name is one of several possible German spellings (the most common is "Dschingis Khan") of the name of the historical figure Genghis Khan of the Mongol Empire.[2] The only native Germans in the group were the bald-headed Karl-Heinz "Steve" Bender and Wolfgang Heichel, who brought his Dutch-born wife Henriette (née Strobel) with him. Louis Hendrik Potgieter (Genghis Khan) was South African. Edina Pop (Marika Késmárky) was a Hungarian who had started her singing career in West Germany in 1969. Leslie Mándoki, also Hungarian, had left Hungary in 1975.

In 1979, the group released the singles "Dschinghis Khan"[7] and "Moskau". A year later, the English version of "Moskau" topped the charts in Australia for six weeks,[8] largely thanks to Seven Network using the song as the theme music for coverage of the 1980 Summer Olympics. In an interview with Russian television presenter Alexandra Glotova, the producer of the group Dschinghis Khan, Heinz Gross, said that in the 1980s, the group was banned in the Soviet Union and was accused of anti-communism and nationalism.[9]

Following the success of the singles "Hadschi Halef Omar", "Rom", "Pistolero", and "Loreley", Dschinghis Khan underwent an image change, with their songs becoming more folk-oriented with their fourth album, Helden, Schurken & der Dudelmoser. As a result, their popularity waned. The group released their fifth album, Corrida, which served as the soundtrack to the musical of the same name by Siegel and Meinunger. After the release of the single "Mexico", Dschinghis Khan disbanded in 1985.

Post-disbandment: 1985–1994[edit]

Henriette Strobel, Wolfgang Heichel and Edina Pop performing in 2009

Following Dschinghis Khan's disbandment, the members took different paths. Mándoki became a successful musician and producer while Pop pursued a solo singing career and Bender worked as a music producer. The success of the band eventually led to Wolfgang and Henriette's divorce in 1986, with Henriette reverting to her maiden name of Strobel.[10]

In 1986, the group reunited as "Dschinghis Khan Family", but only with original members Strobel on vocals, Mándoki on drums, and Potgieter on keyboards. The song "Wir gehör'n zusammen" led them to a national qualifying round of the Eurovision Song Contest, where they finished in second place.[2]

In 1994, Potgieter died of AIDS in South Africa.[11]

Reunion: 2005–2018[edit]

On 17 December 2005, Dschinghis Khan reunited at the Retro FM Festival in Moscow, with founding members Bender, Pop, Heichel, and Strobel joined by new members Stefan Track, Kaya Ebru, and Daniel Käsling. In May 2006, Bender died of cancer.[11] The song "Wie Feuer im Wind" on the group's 2007 album 7 Leben was dedicated to both Potgieter and Bender.

In 2006, Track left the group and started his own solo project called Rocking Son. On July 15, Strobel, Heichel, and Pop were joined by the dance group The Legacy of Dschinghis Khan in a concert in Mongolia. The dance group consisted of Claus Kupreit, Corinna Günzel, Benjamin Schobel, Evi Weigand, Stefan Sauter, and Angelika Nimbach; Kurpreit would go on to become a permanent member of Dschinghis Khan. In 2014, Heichel left the group due to creative differences.

Recent developments: 2018–present[edit]

In 2018, Dschinghis Khan re-recorded "Moskau" with new lyrics for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which was hosted in Russia. For the German and English versions, the lead vocals were performed by former US5 member Jay Khan. Alexander Malinin and his daughter Ustinya performed the Russian version, titled "Moskva". The Spanish version, titled "Moscú", was performed by Jorge Jiménez and Marifer Medrano.[12][13] At the same time, Heichel teamed up with Track to record the song "We Love Football". It was revealed that Heichel gained the rights to the Dschinghis Khan name in Germany and Spain.[14] Strobel, Pop, Kupreit, and producer Heinz Gross also own the rights to the name Dschinghis Khan,[15] with both group patents revealing the use of their own logos. As a result, there are two disco groups operating under the name Dschinghis Khan.

On 12 September 2020, dancer and singer Johannes Kupreit died in a car accident in Germany.[16] Tributes were paid from the members and Dschinghis Khan fans from around the world.[17] By the end of 2020, Pop and Strobel retired from their band. Meanwhile, the Heichel and Track faction of Dschinghis Khan released the studio album Here We Go, which is a mix of new songs and self-covers.[18]

In July 2021, Siegel sued Heichel when the latter attempted to bar him from releasing the 2018 FIFA World Cup version of "Moskau" and claimed to have full ownership of the Dschinghis Khan name. The Munich Regional Court ruled in favor of Siegel and awarded him the trademark rights to the group, citing him as the group's original creator and producer and the group's prior disbandments did not affect his ownership rights.[19][20][21]

In 2023, the Siegel lineup was revamped with three new members: Marco Matias, Selina Kohl, and Michael Thurner.[22][23]


Original lineup
  • Louis Hendrik Potgieter (1979–1985; died 1993)
  • Edina Pop (1979–1985)
  • Henriette Strobel (1979–1985)
  • Wolfgang Heichel (1979–1985)
  • Leslie Mándoki (1979–1985)
  • Steve Bender (1979–1981; died 2006)
Ralph Siegel lineup
  • Claus Kupreit (as Prince Igei Khan) (2007–2020; 2023–present)
  • Angelika Erlacher (as Eltuya Khan) (2016–2020; 2023–present)
  • Läm Virat Phetnoi (as Yassa Khan) (2012–2020; 2023–present)
  • Marco Matias (as Batou Khan) (2023–present)
  • Selina Kohl (as Zuri Khan) (2023–present)
  • Michael Thurner (as Michael T. Khan) (2023–present)
  • Edina Pop (2005–2020)
  • Henriette Strobel (2005–2020)
  • Wolfgang Heichel (2005–2014)
  • Stefan Track (2005–2007)
  • Steve Bender (2005–2006; died 2006)
Stefan Track lineup
  • Stefan Track (2005–2007; 2018–present)
  • Leila Melikova
  • Tatiana Gerisamova
  • Denis Loginov
  • Wolfgang Heichel (2018–2022)
Other members
  • Daniel Käsling (as Ögödei Khan) (2005–2007)
  • Kaya Ebru (as Eltuya Khan) (2005–2007)
  • Corinna Günzel (as Eltuya Khan) (2007–2014)
  • Evi Weigand (as Ohla Khan) (2007–2014)
  • Attila Mario Diallo (as Cash Khan) (2007–2014)
  • Benjamin Schobel (as Ögödei Khan) (2007–2011)
  • Stefan Sauter (as Yassa Khan) (2007–2009)
  • Angelika Nimbach (as Yesugan Khan) (2007–2008)
  • Johannes Kupreit (as Ögödei Khan) (2011–2020; died 2020)
  • Jan Großfeld (as Bärke Khan) (2019–2020)




  1. ^ "Euro-Disco Music Artists". AllMusic.
  2. ^ a b c "Dschinghis Khan: Deutscher Mongolen-Pop beim ESC". Eurovision Song Contest. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Talent in Germany 82: Bringing Home". Billboard. December 26, 1981. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  4. ^ "Dschinghis Khan — Songlexikon". portal.uni-freiburg.de. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  5. ^ "Wie alles begann..." STEPPENWIND - Offizielle Dschinghis Khan Fanseite (in German). Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  6. ^ Dschinghis Khan...by RALPH SIEGEL & Bernd Meinunger, retrieved 2022-06-21
  7. ^ "Dschinghis khan", Rate your music.
  8. ^ "The biggest hits that never made No. 1 in Australia". Herald Sun. 2 January 2014. Archived from the original on 2013-03-25. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  9. ^ Interview of the band Dschinghis Khan to Russian national channel TV Center on YouTube archived at Ghostarchive.org on 5 May 2022
  10. ^ Dschinghis Khan Interview with English Subtitles (Part 1) on YouTube archived at Ghostarchive.org on 5 May 2022
  11. ^ a b "History". Dschinghis Khan. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
  12. ^ "Moskau Moskau". Dschinghis Khan Official Website. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  13. ^ "Wenn die WM wird wie die WM-Songs, dann gute Nacht". Welt. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Deutsches Patent und Markenamt". 2017-08-05. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  15. ^ "Deutsches Patent und Markenamt". 2018-05-04. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  16. ^ "Traueranzeigen von Johannes Kupreit | trauer.merkur.de". trauer.merkur.de (in German). Retrieved 2021-03-14.
  17. ^ Dschinghis Khan. "Wenn Worte nicht ausreichen. Erfüllt von tiefer Dankbarkeit für die unzähligen und unvergesslichen Momente, die wir mit Dir erleben durften. Wir lieben Dich, unseren wundervollen Bruder Ögödei. Ein Khan durch und durch. Für immer. Ein dreifaches HUH HAH auf Dich!". Instagram. Archived from the original on 23 December 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  18. ^ "ヒア・ウィ・ゴー | ジンギスカン". JVCKenwood Victor Entertainment. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  19. ^ "Urteil: Ralph Siegel gewinnt Prozess um "Dschinghis Khan"". Süddeutsche Zeitung. 28 July 2021. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  20. ^ "Ralph Siegel wins against the singer of Genghis Khan". The Limited Times. 28 July 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  21. ^ "Genghis Khan decision highlights importance of industry peculiarities to unregistered company rights". Lexology. 7 October 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  22. ^ "Dschinghis Khan: Das Warten hat ein Ende: Weltweites Dschinghis Khan Comeback – MIT Ralph Siegel !!!". Smago!. 28 June 2023. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  23. ^ Dschinghis Khan (27 June 2023). Ralph Siegel's Original Dshinghis Khan. YouTube. Retrieved 27 June 2023.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by