Ralf Hütter

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Ralf Hütter
Performing in 2013
Performing in 2013
Background information
Birth nameRalf Hütter
Born (1946-08-20) 20 August 1946 (age 74)
Krefeld, Rhine Province, Allied-occupied Germany
Occupation(s)Musician, singer
InstrumentsSynthesizer, keyboards, vocoder, guitar, bass guitar, drums, percussion, vocals
Years active1965–present
Associated actsKraftwerk
The Phantoms[1]
The Quartermasters[2][3]

Ralf Hütter (born 20 August 1946) is a German musician and composer best known as the lead singer, keyboardist, founding member and leader of Kraftwerk. Since the departure of Florian Schneider in 2008, he has been the band's sole remaining founding member.


Hütter was born on 20 August 1946 in Krefeld, Germany. In 2009 he lived near Düsseldorf.[4]

He met Florian Schneider while studying improvisation at the Robert Schumann Hochschule.[5] He is a vegetarian.[6] Hütter is a secretive musician who avoids interviews; throughout Kraftwerk's long career he has been notoriously hard to pin down for an interview.[7] He has a wife and a daughter.[citation needed]

Cycling interests[edit]

Ralf Hütter is an enthusiastic cycling fan, a fact reflected in some of the band's work. It was widely claimed that, when he was on tour, the group's bus would drop off Hütter 100 miles away from the next venue and he would cycle the rest of the way, a story that Hütter later confirmed.[4] The band members took up cycling when recording the album The Man-Machine in the late 1970s. Ralf Hütter had been looking for a new form of exercise. The single "Tour de France" includes sounds that follow this theme, including bicycle chains, gear mechanisms and the breathing of the cyclist. At the time of the single's release Ralf Hütter tried to persuade the rest of the band that they should record a whole album based around cycling. At the time this did not happen, but the project eventually was released as Tour de France Soundtracks in 2003.

Hütter was involved in a serious cycling accident in May or June 1982,[8] during the initial period of recording for the 1986 album Electric Café. He was in a coma as a result. Karl Bartos stated the first thing Hütter said when he awoke from his coma was "Where is my bicycle?", a story Hütter later disputed in a June 2009 interview in The Guardian.[9]


  1. ^ "Kollektiv - MySpace Music".
  2. ^ "Grant deBruin". www.facebook.com.
  3. ^ "Grant deBruin". www.facebook.com.
  4. ^ a b John Harris (19 June 2009). "'I got a new head, and I'm fine'". The Guardian.
  5. ^ "Red Bull Music Academy Daily". daily.redbullmusicacademy.com.
  6. ^ "Ralf Hütter (1946 -)". International Vegetarian Union (IVU).
  7. ^ Phil Hebblethwaite (19 March 2018). "The secretive musicians who avoid interviews". BBC Music.
  8. ^ Karl Bartos 2017, Der Klang der Maschine, ch. 12
  9. ^ Pascal Bussy (1993). Man, Machine, and Music