Ute Lemper Turns 50

She confesses to be sympathetic with the trouble-makers, the losers, and the odd-men-out, and she gives everything she's got to express her feelings onstage - "'til I suffer a whiplash," as she once said in an interview. Ute Lemper, the dancing chanson and jazz singer, turns 50 on July 4. Ute Lemper, who grew up in the German city of Munster and who has lived in New York City for the past 17 years, is particularly at home with cabaret songs of the Weimar Republic, and she has also made a name for herself with her renditions of songs originally written for Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich. This past spring, she found herself, somewhat surprisingly, on the same list with opera divas Anne Sofie von Otter, Joyce do Donato, Renée Fleming und Natalie Dessay with her new recording "Berlin Nights Paris Days," as this CD had been nominated for a Grammy Award in the category "Classical Vocal Solo." While being a multifaceted artist, Lemper has always remained true to herself in one way: She follows her gut feeling and takes risks, as Georg Hirsch reports.

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