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Xavier Naidoo was the premier German R&B singer of his generation. Born October 2, 1971, in Mannheim, he spent the better part of adolescence performing in school glee clubs, church choirs, and amateur musicals, beginning his professional career singing advertising jingles. In 1993, Naidoo issued his debut LP, Seeing Is Believing, but it attracted scant attention and he spent the next three years out of the public eye. With 1997's "Freisein," a duet with singer Sabrina Setlur, Naidoo scored his first German Top 40 hit, and the subsequent success of "20,000 Meilen" and "Führ Mich ans Licht" ultimately propelled his 3P label debut, Nicht von Dieser Welt, to the top of the album charts. That record stayed in the Top 20 for over a year and went on to sell over a million copies. A concert LP dubbed Live hastily followed, and in 2000 Naidoo sidelined his solo career in favor of recording Zion, an album with the 14-member collective Söhne Mannheims. Their single "Geh' Davon Aus" reached the German pop countdown, and anticipation for his next solo release reached a fever pitch. The two-disc Zwischenspiel/Alles für den Herm did not disappoint, debuting at number one and generating three Top Five singles: "Wo Willst Du Hin?," "Bevor Du Gehst," and "Abschied Nehmen."
In 2003, Naidoo collaborated with the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA on the chart-topping "Ich Kenne Nichts (Das So Schön Ist Wie Du)"; the 2005 full-length Telegramm für X restored him to the top of the charts, buoyed by the smash "Dieser Weg." Naidoo scored his first number one solo single in 2006 with "Danke," a tribute to the German World Cup squad. In 2009 he released Alles Kann Besser Werden — a three-disc concept album that went platinum in his native country. 2012 brought a collaboration with the Aachen-born rapper Kool Savas and the duo hit the number one spot in both Germany and Switzerland with Gespaltene Persönlichkeit ("Split Personality"), under the moniker Xavas. He issued his first "best-of" that year entitled Danke fürs Zuhören, and also managed to fit in an appearance as a coach on the TV show The Voice of Germany for the second series in a row.
Naidoo delivered two very different albums in 2013 — his fifth studio album, Bei Meiner Seele, which debuted at number one on the German and Austrian charts, and Mordsmusik, an album influenced by dubstep and hardcore hip-hop released under the assumed name Der Xer. Inspired by his appearances on The Voice, in 2014 Naidoo launched his own show titled Sing Meinen Song on which well-known German acts — including Sasha and Roger Cicero — were invited to perform each other's songs. The subsequent releases of these cover versions went on to hit the higher reaches of the German singles chart, before Naidoo himself embarked on a national solo tour during the summer. An accompanying album, Sing Meinen Song: Das Tauschkonzert, hit number one in Germany during June and July. ~ Jason Ankeny & James Wilkinson, Rovi