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Peter Maffay

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Peter Maffay
Peter Maffay 2009.jpg
Peter Maffay, 2009
Background information
Birth namePeter Alexander Makkay
Born (1949-08-30) 30 August 1949 (age 70)
Brașov, Brașov, Romania
GenresRock, musicals
Years active1969–present
LabelsBMG Ariola

Peter Alexander Makkay (born 30 August 1949 in Brașov, Romania), better known as Peter Maffay, is a Romanian-born German musician.


Born in Braşov, Romania, the son of a German (Transylvanian Saxon), he was 14 when his family relocated to his parents' (West) Germany in 1963.[1] In the same year, he started his first band, The Dukes. After completing his education and working for Chemigraphics, an art manufacturer, Maffay worked in clubs, where he distributed his music.

Maffay's career started with the publication of his first single, "Du" (You in German). It was the biggest German hit in 1970 and brought Maffay instant fame. With the 1979 album Steppenwolf in 1979, Maffay became a major music star in Germany. The album sold 1.6 million copies, making it the best selling LP at that time. In 1980, the album Revanche (Revenge) broke his previous record, selling 2.1 million copies.

Together with German Singer-Songwriter Johnny Tame he formed a successful Country Rock Duo in 1976 called Tame & Maffay, They released two albums and continued a close cooperation until 1985.

Maffay holds the German record for the most number one ranked album sales charts, including 16 albums.[2] In addition, each of his studio albums since 1979 reached the top ten.[2] He also holds a German record for most albums to have sold over one million copies, with 14. His 2005 album, Laut und Leise (Loud and Quiet), became the fourteenth.

Altogether, Maffay has sold over 40 million records, which makes him one of the top selling artists in Germany. Since 1980, each of his 13 tours (roughly every 2 years) has ranked among the three most visited attractions each season in Germany, with nine of them ranked first in that category. The first leg of his 2015 Tour (19 Arena shows) sold out nearly a year in advance.

Maffay also created a string of fairy tales about a little green dragon named Tabaluga. The tales, which spanned across five albums, were also turned into a musical. Maffay went on tour individually with Tabaluga & Lilli in Germany; he later released a live album, DVD, and live TV broadcast. The tour included Peter Maffay, Alexis, Nino de Angelo, Rufus Beck, and Carl Carlton, among others.

In 1998, Maffay created an album in collaboration with global artists, including Aboriginal singers and musicians from Israel, called "Begegnungen". Julia Neigel, another famous German artist, is one of the musicians he usually works with in lyrics and singing in duets. She wrote two of his top singles – "Freiheit die ich meine" and "Siehst Du die Sonne", a cover of Michel Polnareff's "La poupeé qui fait non".

He also starred in two movies directed by Peter Patzak: Lethal Obsession in 1987, and Gefangen im Jemen in 1999, for which Tony Carey provided the soundtrack. In addition, Maffay played a supporting role in the feature The Polar Bear.

On 12 March 2011, Maffay received the Steiger Award (Germany).

Personal life[edit]

Peter Maffay is active in politics and sometimes inserts his own political stances into his music. He is a peace activist, and in 2005 he performed a concert for German ISAF troops in Afghanistan. Maffay also donates to projects for traumatised and abused children. On the Spanish island of Majorca, he established a ranch where traumatised children from all over the world can have a free two-week holiday to help them cope with their problems. For his social commitment, he received the Bundesverdienstkreuz in 1996, and, in 2001, he received an award called "Goldene Henne" ("The Golden Hen"). He has been awarded the Toleranzpreis der Evangelischen Akademie Tutzing in 2012.

Peter Maffay has been married four times, has a son and lives with his family on a farm on Majorca. One of his hobbies is motorcycle riding. In 1972, Maffay was severely injured in an accident after crashing his Harley Davidson. Later in life, he crossed the Sahara Desert several times on an off-road motorcycle.

The band[edit]

Carl Carlton has played guitar on many projects. Likewise, for many years, Bertram Engel (drums), Ken Taylor (bass), and Jean-Jacques Kravetz (piano) have worked with Maffay as well. Some time later, Jean-Jaques Kravetz brought his son Pascal Kravetz (guitar) with him into the fold. Frank Diez, member of "Peter Maffay Band" since 1974 and a remarkable pillar and sideman, left the group in 2004. Also did Andreas Becker and some of Maffay's friends from the band, in order to pursue other projects. The American keyboard player Tony Carey, who produced many of his records, also took part in his live band for many years. The newest addition to the band is guitarist Peter Keller, from Hamburg.


  • 1970: Für das Mädchen, das ich liebe (CD / LP) (For the Girl that I Love)
  • 1971: Du bist wie ein Lied (CD / LP) (You are like a song)
  • 1972: Omen (CD / 2LP)
  • 1974: Samstagabend in unserer Straße (CD / LP) (Saturday Evening in our Street)
  • 1975: Meine Freiheit (CD / LP) (My Freedom)
  • 1976: Und es war Sommer (CD / LP) (And it was Summer)
  • 1977: Tame & Maffay (CD / LP)
  • 1977: Dein Gesicht (CD / LP) (Your face)
  • 1978: Live (CD / LP)
  • 1979: Steppenwolf (CD / LP)
  • 1979: Tame & Maffay 2 (CD / LP)
  • 1980: Revanche (CD /LP) (Revenge)
  • 1982: Ich will Leben (CD / LP) (I want to live)
  • 1982: Live '82 (CD / LP / VHS)
  • 1983: Tabaluga oder die Reise zur Vernunft (CD / LP) (Tabaluga or the Journey to Reason)
  • 1984: Carambolage (CD / LP)
  • 1984: Deutschland '84 (DVD / VHS)
  • 1985: Sonne in der Nacht (CD / LP / DVD / VHS) (Sun in the Night)
  • 1986: Tabaluga und das leuchtende Schweigen (CD / LP) (Tabaluga and the Luminous Silence)
  • 1987: Live '87 (DVD / VHS)
  • 1988: Lange Schatten (2CD / 2LP) (Long Shadows)
  • 1988: Lange Schatten Tour '88 (CD / LP / VHS) (Long Shadow Tour 1988)
  • 1989: Kein Weg zu Weit (CD / LP / DVD / VHS) (No Way to Far)
  • 1990: Leipzig (CD / LP / VHS)
  • 1991: 38317 (CD / LP)
  • 1991: 38317 — Das Clubconcert (DVD / VHS)
  • 1992: Freunde und Propheten (CD) (Friends and Prophets)
  • 1993: Der Weg 1979–93 (CD / VHS) (The Way 1979 to 1993)
  • 1993: Tabaluga und Lilli (CD) (Tabaluga and Lilli)
  • 1994: Tabaluga und Lilli Live (2CD / VHS) (Tabaluga and Lilli Live)
  • 1996: Sechsundneunzig (CD) (Ninety-Six)(DE: #1, 4x Platinum)
  • 1996: Sechsundneunzig — Das Clubconcert (DVD / VHS) (Ninety Six — Club Concert)
  • 1997: 96 Live (2CD / DVD / VHS)
  • 1998: Begegnungen (CD / DVD / VHS)(DE: #5, 2x Platinum)
  • 1999: Begegnungen Live (2CD)
  • 2000: X (CD)(DE: #2, 2x Platinum)
  • 2001: Heute vor dreissig Jahren (CD) (Thirty Years ago)(DE: #1, 3x Platinum)
  • 2001: Heute vor dreissig Jahren — Live (DVD) (Thirty Years ago — Live)
  • 2002: Tabaluga und das verschenkte Glück (CD) (Gift of Luck)(DE: #3, 2x Platinum)
  • 2004: Tabaluga und das verschenkte Glück — Live (DVD) (Gift of Luck)
  • 2005: Laut und Leise (2CD / 2DualDisc) (Loud and Quiet)(DE: #1, 3x Platinum)
  • 2006: Begegnungen, eine Allianz fuer Kinder (CD / DVD) (Encounters, an Alliance for Children)(DE: #9, Platinum)
  • 2007: Frohe Weihnachten mit Tabaluga (CD) (Merry Christmas with Tabaluga)
  • 2008: Ewig (CD / DVD) (Forever)(DE: #1, Platinum)
  • 2010: Tattoos (CD) (DE: #1, 4x Platinum) [3]
  • 2011: Tabaluga und die Zeichen der Zeit (CD) (Tabaluga and the signs of the times)(DE: #1, 2x Platinum)
  • 2014: Wenn das so ist (CD) (If this is the Case)(DE: #1, 2x Platinum)[4]
  • 2015: Tabaluga – Es lebe die Freundschaft! (CD) (Tabaluga – Long live the Friendship!) (DE: #1)
  • 2017: Erinnerungen – Die stärksten Balladen (CD) (Memories – The Strongest Ballads) (DE: #11)
  • 2017: MTV Unplugged (CD) (DE: #1, Gold)
  • 2018: plugged – Die stärksten Rocksongs (CD) (DE: #11)
  • 2019: Jetzt! (CD) (DE: #1)


  1. ^ «A cucerit» Germania cu o chitară / video, 1 September 2009, Libertatea, Retrieved 19 February 2017
  2. ^ a b A German charts database
  3. ^ "Album Top 50 - Alle Musikvideos - Chart". Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  4. ^ Peter Maffay Wenn Das So Ist Archived 2014-01-17 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ernst Nolte
Otfried Preußler
Konrad Adenauer Prize
Most recent