Tokio Hotel, 2010. L-R: Georg Listing, Bill Kaulitz, Tom Kaulitz, and Gustav Schäfer
Tokio Hotel is a German rock band, founded in 2001 by singer Bill Kaulitz, guitarist Tom Kaulitz, drummer Gustav Schäfer, and bassist Georg Listing. Its sound encompasses multiple genres, including pop rock, alternative rock, and electropop. The quartet has scored four number-one singles and has released three number-one albums in its native country. The band has sold more than 10 million CDs worldwide. After recording an unreleased demo-album under the name "Devilish" and having their contract with Sony BMG Germany terminated, the band released its first German-language album, Schrei, as Tokio Hotel on Universal Music Germany in 2005. Schrei sold more than half-a-million copies worldwide and spawned four top-five singles in both Germany and Austria.
In 2007, the band released their second German-language album, Zimmer 483, and their first English-language album, Scream, which have combined album sales of over 2.5 million copies worldwide and helped win the band their first MTV Europe Music Award for Best InterAct. The former, Zimmer 483, spawned three top-five singles in Germany while the latter, Scream, spawned two singles that reached the top-twenty in new territories such as France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. In September 2008, they won their first MTV Video Music Award, for Best New Artist. Tokio Hotel became the first German band ever to win an award at the MTV VMAs and to also win awards at the MTV Latin America Awards. They also picked up the Headliner award at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008 and the award for Best Group at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2009. They won for Best World Stage Performance on November 7, 2010 at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Madrid. In July 2011, they became the first German band to win an award at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan.
- 1 History
- 2 Band members
- 3 Discography
- 4 Awards
- 5 References
- 6 Further reading
- 7 External links
Formation, early years and debut album (2001–2006)
The twin brothers Bill Kaulitz (vocalist) and Tom Kaulitz (guitarist), along with drummer Gustav Schäfer and bass-guitarist Georg Listing, formed  Under the name Devilish, the band soon began playing in talent shows and small concerts. After Bill Kaulitz's participation in a children's Star Search in 2003 at age thirteen (which he lost in the quarter-final), he was discovered by music producer Peter Hoffmann. Devilish changed their name to Tokio Hotel: "Tokio", the German spelling of the Japanese city Tokyo, due to a love of the city, and "Hotel" due to their constant touring and living in hotels. Soon after Sony BMG took them under contract, Hoffmann hired David Jost and Pat Benzner into the team of creators and authors, and had them give the teens instruction on songwriting and instrument playing; most of the songs of the first album were written by Hoffmann, Jost and Benzer (including the singles "Scream" and "Rescue me" which were completely written by them), only the single "Unendlichkeit" was written completely by Tokio Hotel themselves. Shortly before release of their first album, Sony terminated their contract.
In 2005 Universal Music Group took Tokio Hotel under contract and developed a marketing plan. Their first single, "Durch den Monsun" ("Through the Monsoon"), quickly rose in the charts, appearing on the German official Media Control single chart at No. 15 on August 20, 2005 and eventually reaching No. 1 on August 26, 2005; it also reached No. 1 on the Austrian singles chart. Their second single, "Schrei" ("Scream"), climbed to the No. 5 position in the German charts. These two songs were written by singer Bill Kaulitz together with their group of producers Peter Hoffmann, David Jost, Pat Benzer and Dave Roth. Their debut album, Schrei, was released on September 19, 2005, and was certified triple gold by the BVMI in 2006 for selling over 300,000 copies in Germany. In 2006, a third and fourth single, "Rette mich" ("Rescue Me") and "Der letzte Tag" ("The Final Day"), were released; both reached No. 1 as well. "Der letzte Tag" contained a B-side called "Wir schließen uns ein", which was also accompanied by a music video.
Zimmer 483 and Scream (2007–2008)
The first single off their second album Zimmer 483 (Room 483), called "Übers Ende der Welt" (later re-released in English under the name "Ready, Set, Go!"), was released on January 26, 2007 and quickly reached No. 1 in Germany and Austria, and No. 2 in France. Zimmer 483 was released in Germany on February 23, 2007, along with a deluxe edition of the album containing a DVD. The album's second single, "Spring nicht" ("Don't Jump") was released on April 7. The tour accompanying the release of the album, The Zimmer 483 Tour, scheduled to start in March 2007, was delayed by two weeks because the band members wished to have a different stage design. A third single, "An deiner Seite (Ich bin da)" ("By Your Side"), was released on November 16. The single contains the B-side "1000 Meere" ("1000 Oceans"), for which a music video was also produced.[by whom?] On April 28, 2008 Tokio Hotel released their single "Heilig" but no music video for the single was released, because of the tight schedule they had.
Tokio Hotel's first English-language album, Scream, was released on June 4, 2007 throughout Europe. In Germany, the album was released as Room 483 in order to emphasize the continuity with their last German album Zimmer 483. Scream contains English versions of a selection of songs from Tokio Hotel's German-language albums Schrei and Zimmer 483. "Monsoon", the English-language version of "Durch den Monsun", was the first single from the album. "Ready, Set, Go!" (the translation of "Übers Ende der Welt") was released as the album's second single and "Don't Jump" (the translation of "Spring nicht") as the third single. A video for "Scream", the English-language version of their 2005 hit "Schrei", was also recorded, and was released to the iTunes Store in early March 2008.
Tokio Hotel gave their first concert in the United Kingdom on June 19, 2007. "Ready, Set, Go!" was released in the UK as the band's first single on August 27, 2007. The song reached No. 77 in the UK Singles Chart.
Tokio Hotel won an MTV Europe Music Award for Best InterAct on November 1, 2007 and were also nominated for Best Band. They performed "Monsoon" at the event.
Tokio Hotel released their first US single, simply called "Tokio Hotel", in late 2007. The single contains the tracks "Scream" and "Ready, Set, Go!", and was available exclusively at Hot Topic stores. Their second US single, "Scream America", was released on December 11, 2007. The single contains the track "Scream" and a remix of "Ready, Set, Go!" by AFI's Jade Puget. In February 2008, the band toured North America for five dates, starting in Canada and finishing up in New York. After Tokio Hotel had appeared and performed live on MuchMusic while touring in Canada, "Ready, Set, Go!" entered the MuchOnDemand Daily 10, a countdown of videos chosen by viewers. It remained there for over a week, then returned to the top of the MOD Daily 10 chart on April 8. "Scream" was released in Canada on March 25 and in the US on May 6.
The "1000 Hotels" European Tour began on March 3, 2008 in Brussels and continued through locations including the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Serbia and Scandinavia. It was scheduled to finish on April 9; during the concert in Marseille, France on March 14, Bill started to experience vocal problems. He let the audience sing more frequently than normal, and instead of the original 21 songs on the set list, the band played only 16 songs. Bill apologized, in German, for his bad singing and explained that he was sick. Two days later, the band cancelled the Lisbon, Portugal concert minutes before it was supposed to commence. The rest of the "1000 Hotels" Tour and a scheduled North American Tour were cancelled after the band's manager announced in Bild that Bill Kaulitz had to undergo surgery to remove a cyst on his vocal cords.
Bill Kaulitz had been putting strain on his voice after playing 43 concerts in the 1000 Hotels tour without a break. He had to undergo larynx surgery on March 30 to remove a cyst that had formed on his vocal cords. The cyst resulted from a throat infection that had gone untreated. Following his surgery Bill could not speak for ten days and had four weeks of vocal rehabilitation. If Bill had continued singing the rest of the tour, his voice would have eventually been permanently damaged. Tokio Hotel started performing again in May 2008 and after that they embarked on a second part of their 1000 Hotels European Tour, adding many open-air concerts and wrapping up the tour on July 13 in Werchter in Belgium.
Humanoid, Humanoid City Live, Best Of and hiatus (2009–2012)
In August 2008 Tokio Hotel embarked on a second tour of North America, including a performance at the Bamboozled festival in New Jersey. The band's music video for "Ready Set Go!" was nominated for Best Pop Video at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, where they won the award for Best New Artist. They returned to North America in October 2008 for a month-long tour of concerts and record-store signings. In December 2008 a behind-the scenes DVD called Tokio Hotel TV – Caught on Camera was released. It contains footage from Tokio Hotel TV and backstage feature-stories of the previous year on disc one entitled "History – The very best of Tokio Hotel TV!". A deluxe edition contains a second disc entitled "Future – The road to the new Album!" which features footage of the band on promotion tours and preparing for their third studio album.
In between the North American tours, the band returned to their record studio in Hamburg to record their third studio album, Humanoid, which was released on October 2 in Germany & October 6, 2009 in the U.S. - this despite earlier statements predicting a March/April 2009 release or a May/June 2009 release. The album was recorded in both German and English, with both versions released simultaneously worldwide.
On August 10, it was announced on MTV news that the first German single would be "Automatisch" and that its English counterpart, "Automatic", would be released as a first single in the United States. On August 20, MTV Buzzworthy released a video which previewed "Automatic" and Cherrytree Records announced that the English version of the song would be released in the US on September 22. Nevertheless, the video for the single was released on September 3.
On November 2, 2009 Tom's blog announced that the second English single would be "World Behind My Wall" and that its German counterpart, "Lass uns laufen", would be the second German single. The music videos for both versions were released on December 14 and December 15.
The group toured thirty-two cities in Europe from February 22 to April 14, 2010. On June 24, 2010, the live music-video for their single, "Dark Side of the Sun", was released on the band website.
On July 20, 2010, they released their second live album, Humanoid City Live, from Milan, Italy. On November 22, 2010, their new song "Hurricanes and Suns" premiered on the Greek radio-station Mad Radio. It was included in the bonus track on all versions of Tokio Hotel: Best Of, a compilation album of their most successful songs. As well as the single for the Best of release. The album will[when?] also include "Mädchen aus dem All", the first song the band recorded in a studio.
On December 13, 2010 their Best of was released in Germany. It was released internationally the next day. December 2 was the World Premiere of the video for "Hurricanes and Suns" on the official Tokio Hotel website.
Tokio Hotel performed their first concert in Asia (excluding their concert in Israel) at the Audi Showcase in Singapore, followed shortly by the TM Connects With Tokio Hotel event in Malaysia, promoting the sales of their album Humanoid. They concluded the series of mini-concerts with Taiwan. They returned to Malaysia a couple of months later to perform at MTV World Stage Live in Malaysia 2010. They performed in Tokyo on December 15, 2010, after their South American tour concluded in Distrito Federal, Mexico on December 2, 2010. In February, 2011 Tokio Hotel travelled to Japan to complete a second promo tour. A number of television appearances and media interviews took place between February 8 and February 11.
On April 28, 2011 they received the "Fan Army FTW" award at the MTV O Music Awards, the network's first online award-show. A clip of Bill and Tom thanking their fans played after the winner was announced.
On June 24, 2011 Tokio Hotel performed in Japan at "The Next Premium Night Tokio Hotel in Tokyo". Audi A1 presented the event, and 150 fans were chosen to win tickets to attend the show. The event was the band's first acoustic performance in Japan. On June 25, 2011 the band performed live at the MTV Video Music Aid Japan in Tokyo. The show, formerly called the "Video Music Awards Japan", was used as a music benefit to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross in order to help those affected by the recent earthquake.
Not long after finishing the "Welcome To Humanoid City Tour", Bill and Tom, with their manager David Jost, moved to Los Angeles and continue to live there.
Reunion, Kings of Suburbia and touring (2013–2015)
On January 5, 2013, after a long period of silence, Tom Kaulitz confirmed on the "BTK Twins" app (which was recalled in November) that a new album would be released in 2013. During MTV's Musical March Madness 2013 Tournament, Tokio Hotel promised to release their new album "if they repeat as March Madness Champs". Although they did not win the award, and despite inactivity, the band managed to gather a considerable amount of support from their fanbase. Once again, Tokio Hotel announced that they were planning to release a new single on October 27, 2013 and the album the following month. However, neither the album nor any new singles were released during that year.
On January 22, 2014 the band's producer, Peter Hoffman, announced that recording for the new album had been completed and that they were in the process of selecting the track list. He stated that there was no release date yet, but the album would come out later in 2014. On April 3 the band informed their fans via Facebook and Twitter about their recent website update, which included an official video teaser of them working on their upcoming album and never-before-seen photos of the members.
After the comeback of Tokio Hotel TV, the band announced on Twitter that the album had been finished and was currently in the hands of the label. On September 3, 2014 Bill Kaulitz announced via his Instagram account that the name of the new album would be Kings of Suburbia and it would be released on October 3.
On September 12, Tokio Hotel released a music video for the song "Run, Run, Run" from their new album. "Girl Got a Gun" was also released as a second promotional song on September 19, followed by a music video on September 23. The lead single from the album, Love Who Loves You Back, was released on September 26, followed by a music video on September 30. The album was released in three versions on October 3, 2014 and was number one in 30 countries and in TOP5 in 17 more countries.
Tokio Hotel's new world tour "Feel It All World Tour" started March 6 in Europe with "Part 1: the Club Experience," giving fans an exclusive personal encounter with the band in special club-sized venues. Part 2 will commence with dates in the United States, followed by dates in Latin America (Part 3) and Russia (Part 4). The second official single from the album is the namesake of the tour, "Feel It All." The video for it was released March 27, 2015, and the Feel It All EP was released for sale April 3, 2015.
Dream Machine (2016–present)
During an interview in May 2016, Bill Kaulitz announced that there would be a new album titled Dream Machine and a new world tour in 2017. In late December 2016 as promotion for the album, the band released the first two songs from the album on YouTube. The first, "Something New", was released on December 23 and the second, "What If", was released on December 29.
On January 2, 2017, the band announced via their official Facebook page that Dream Machine would be released on March 3, 2017. While they are no longer with Universal Music, they have since signed with Starwatch Music.
On October 29, 2018, the band announced via their official Facebook page that they will be embarking on a new tour in 2019 named "Melancholic Paradise" wherein they will perform both familiar songs and new ones from their upcoming album. So far only Europe dates have been announced.
- Bill Kaulitz – lead vocals
- Tom Kaulitz – guitars, keyboards, piano, backing vocals, percussion
- Georg Listing – bass, keyboards, backing vocals
- Gustav Schäfer – drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Studio albums
Since the release of the "Durch den Monsun" single in 2005, Tokio Hotel have gone on to win 110 awards in various categories and countries.
|Best Newcomer||Comet Awards (Germany)||October 6|
|Super Comet||Comet Awards (Germany)||October 6|
|Best Newcomer||Eins Live Krone||November 24|
|Best Pop National Act||Bambi Awards||December 1|
|Best Single||Golden Penguin (Austria)|
|Best Pop||Golden Penguin (Austria)|
|Rock Band 2005||Golden Penguin (Austria)|
|Album of the year||Golden Penguin (Austria)||February 8|
|Band of the year||Golden Penguin (Austria)||February 8|
|Song of the year – 'Der Letzte Tag'||Golden Penguin (Austria)||February 8|
|Best Newcomer||Golden Penguin (Austria)||February 8|
|Ausverkaufte Tourhalle||Sold-out-Award of Königpilsener Arena||March 11|
|Best Newcomer||ECHO Awards (Germany)||March 12|
|Best Newcomer||Steiger Awards||March 25|
|Pop National||Radio Regenbogen (Germany)||March 31|
|SuperBand Rock – Golden Otto||Bravo Otto||May 6|
|Music Award||Bild OSGAR||May 22|
|Best Newcomer International||Popcorn Awards (Hungary)||May 26|
|Best Newcomer||Bravo Otto (Hungary)||June 24|
|Best International Band||Bravo Otto (Hungary)||June 24|
|Best Newcomer Band||Popkomm Bavarian Music Lion||September 21|
|Best German Pop Band||Goldene Stimmgabel||September 24|
|Best Selling German Artist||World Music Awards||November 15|
|Best Pop National Act||Bambi Awards||November 30|
|Best Live Act||Eins Live Krone||December 7|
|Best Rock band||MTV France|
|Single of the Year – Durch Den Monsun||Golden Penguin|
|Best Selling German Act – Album Schrei||European Border Breakers Award||January 21|
|European Border Breakers Award||NRJ Awards||January 21|
|Rock Award||BZ-Kulturpreis||January 23|
|Best Video National||ECHO Awards (Germany)||March 25|
|SuperBand Rock – Golden otto||Bravo Otto|
|Digital prize||Festivalbar (Italy)||September 7|
|Most Successful Group Rock International||Goldene Stimmgabel||September 22|
|Most Successful Popgroup International||Goldene Stimmgabel Awards||October 3|
|Best Album||TMF Awards (Belgium)||October 13|
|Best Video||TMF Awards (Belgium)||October 13|
|Best New Artist||TMF Awards (Belgium)||October 13|
|Best Pop||TMF Awards (Belgium)||October 13|
|Best International Act||MTV Europe Music Awards (Germany)||November 1|
|Best band of the Year||MTV Italy Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award||December 1|
|Band of the Year 2007||Golden Penguin (Austria)||January|
|Best International Band||Rockbjörnen Award (Sweden)||January 24|
|Best Music National||Goldene Kamera (Germany)||February 6|
|Best Music Video||Echo Awards (Germany)||February 15|
|Best International Artist||Emma Gala Awards (Finland)||March 8|
|Best International Group||Disney Channel Kids Award (Italy)||March 28|
|Best Concert||Hitkrant (Netherlands)||May 2008|
|Best Mood Song – Monsoon||Hitkrant (Netherlands)||May 2008|
|Song that Stays in your Head – Monsoon||Hitkrant (Netherlands)||May 2008|
|Superband Rock – Silver Otto||Bravo Otto||May 3|
|Best Band||MTV TRL Awards (Italy)||May 17|
|Best Number 1 of the Year with Monsoon||MTV TRL Awards (Italy)||May 17|
|Best Band||Comet Awards (Germany)||May 23|
|Best Video – An Deiner Seite||Comet Awards (Germany)||May 23|
|Best Live Act||Comet Awards (Germany)||May 23|
|Super Comet||Comet Awards (Germany)||May 23|
|Best New Artist||MTV VMA Music Awards (USA)||September 7|
|Fan Choice Best Entrance||MTV VMA Music Awards (USA)||September 7|
|Best Male Artist International (Bill Kaulitz)||TMF Awards (Belgium)||October 11|
|Best Video International – Don't Jump||TMF Awards (Belgium)||October 11|
|Song of the Year||MTV Latin America Awards (Mexico)||October 16|
|Best Fanclub-Venezuela||MTV Latin America Awards (Mexico)||October 16|
|Best New Artist-International||MTV Latin America Awards (Mexico)||October 16|
|Best Ringtone||MTV Latin America Awards (Mexico)||October 16|
|Headliner||MTV Europe Music Awards (England)||November 6|
|Best Selling DVD: ZImmer 483 – Live in Europe||Rekord (Russia)||December 2|
|SuperBand – Golden Otto||Bravo Otto (Germany)||May 12|
|Best TRL Artist of the Year||MTV TRL Awards (Italy)||May 16|
|Best Online Star||Comet Awards (Germany)||May 29|
|Export Hit of Germany||Bavarian Music Lion||September 17|
|International Award (2009)||Audi Generation Award (Germany)||October 18|
|Best Rock Video(2009)||Music New Video Music Award||September 2009|
|Best Group||MTV Europe Music Awards (Germany)||November 5|
|Best International Rock Band||Telehit Awards (Mexico)||November 12|
|Band of the Year||Golden Penguin (Austria)||January 29|
|Album of the Year||Golden Penguin (Austria)||January 29|
|Band of the Year||Bravoora Awards (Poland)||February 1|
|Best International Artist||Emma Gala Awards (Finland)||February 4|
|Walk of Fame||König-Pilsener Arena (Germany)||February 26|
|Best International Band||Radio Regenbogen Awards (Germany)||March 19|
|Favorite Music Star||Kids Choice Awards 2010 (Germany)||April 10|
|Best Live Act||Comet Awards (Germany)||May 21|
|Foreign Song of the Year – World Behind My Wall||Rockbjörnen Award (Sweden)||September 1|
|Concert of the Year||Rockbjörnen Award (Sweden)||September 1|
|Best World Stage Performance||MTV Europe Music Awards (Spain)||November 7|
|Best Group Video||Music New Video Music Award||December 2010|
|Best Band National||CMA Awards (Germany)||December 12|
|Best Single National – World Behind My Wall||CMA Awards (Germany)||December 12|
|Band of the Year||Bravoora Awards (Poland)||March|
|Star of the 20th Anniversary||Bravoora Awards (Poland)||March|
|Best Fan Army (Fan Army FTW)||MTV O Music Awards (USA)||April 28|
|Best Rock Video||MTV Video Music Awards Japan||July 2|
|Best Fan Club : Aliens||2Musica Awards||August 17|
|Fashion Icon : Bill Kaulitz||2Musica Awards||August 17|
|Best Videography||2Musica Awards||August 17|
|Best Artist In A Versus||2Musica Awards||August 17|
|Best Rock Artist||2Musica Awards||August 17|
|Best Fan Army (Fan Army FTW)||MTV O Music Awards (USA)||October 31|
|Best Peta2 Ad||Peta2 6th Annual Libby Awards||December|
|Super-Band Rock- Bronze Otto||BRAVO OTTO (Germany)||March 21|
|Mister Winter 2012 : Bill Kaulitz||Star Planete Awards 2012 (France)||March 25|
|Musical March Madness Champions||MTV Musical March Madness 2012||April 5|
|Hottest Rocker Boys||Q102's Online Competitions||May 27|
|Best Fan Club : Aliens||2Musica Awards||June 25|
|Best Artist In A Versus||2Musica Awards||June 25|
|Best Fan Army (Fan Army FTW)||MTV O Music Awards (USA)||June 28|
|Battle Of The Boy Bands||MTV Latin America Awards (Mexico)||August 16|
|Best Fan Army (Fan Army FTW)||MTV O Music Awards (USA)||June 19|
|Biggest Fans||MTV Europe Music Awards||November 10|
|Album Of The Year : Kings of Suburbia||Music Daily Awards (Hungary)||December 28|
|Video Of The Year : Love Who Loves You Back||Music Daily Awards (Hungary)||December 28|
|Band Of The Year||Music Daily Awards (Hungary)||December 28|
|Best Fan Club : Aliens||Music Daily Awards (Hungary)||December 28|
|Best International Band||Love Radio Awards (Russia)||December 29|
|OMG Of The Year - Tokio Hotel's comeback||Love Radio Awards (Russia)||December 29|
|Video of the year: Love who loves you back||MTV Award (Spain)||January 9|
|Musical March Madness Champions||MTV Musical March Madness 2015||April 3|
|Best Artist From The World||MTV Awards 2015 (Italy)||June 14|
|Best Cinematography: "Boy Don't Cry" (nominated)||Berlin Music Video Awards||May 28|
- Elke Buhr for Frankfurter Rundschau. "As if" eroticism. February 22, 2007. English translation by Sign and Sight.com
Straightforward pop-rock with catchy melodies and a well-calculated mix of stolen Metallica riffs and romantic ballad elements. Everything is played on the safe side, and the production is technically perfect.
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