"Klaus Nomi" Biography by Roberto St. Orm
Biography by Roberto St. Orm

Klaus Nomi
1944 - 1983

"Looks like an alien from outer space and sounds even weirder"

Klaus Nomi was a counter tenor and baryton singer who sang both opera and rock'n'roll. He was a great singer and a funny guy but he's remembered mostly because he died. He was the first celebrity who died of AIDS.

A short biography:

Klaus Nomi was born in Germany in 1944. His real name was Klaus Sperber. In his youth he worked as an usher at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and would imitated such singers as Elvis Presley and Maria Callas. He didn't get to the Deutsche Opera as a singer. He got depressed and went to New York. There he first had a job as a pastry chef at the World Trade Center and later formed a freelance baking company but sang in rock clubs too. Then he met David Bowie who asked him and Joey Arias to sing with him in the Saturday Night Live TV show. Nomi and Arias sang backing vocals on Bowie's songs "The Man Who Sold the World", "TVC15" and "Boys Keep Swinging". After that Nomi got a lot of gigs. He made his records in the early eighties and died of AIDS August 6th 1983

Watch these movies:
  • Wigstock: The Movie
    A document from a transvestite festival featuring Nomi's friend Joey Arias
  • Naked Gun 2 1/2
    There's a Nomi parody (or at least I think it is)
  • A Nos Amours
    The music of this movie is "The Cold Song" sung by Nomi

If you like Nomi you might like

  • Henry Purcell
    An English baroque composer. Nomi has sung some of his songs.

  • Marlene Dietrich
    Sings the original version of "Falling in Love Again" in the legendary "Blue Angel" movie. Nomi's version is quite different.

  • David Bowie
    He's even been singing with Nomi. His space oddity things have been quite
    interesting as most of his music.

  • Ivan Rebroff
    A bass-countertenor-whatever singer who has sung operettas, operas, and Russian and German schlagers. He was in the unforgettable recording of "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss which also features the late greats Hermann Prey and Lucia Popp.

  • Lou Christie
    Nomi's version of "Lightning Strikes" is better than the original but Christie has some great songs. His baryton-falsetto singing must have had a great influence to Nomi.

  • The King's Singers
    An a-cappella group that sings The Beatles as well as Orlando di Lasso. David Hurley has the most beautiful countertenor voice of the world.

Bio/info by Roberto St. Orm from his web site the Klaus Nomi homepage