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Marius Westernhagen was born on December 6, 1948. His father, Hans Müller Westernhagen, was an actor, and guided young Marius toward a life in theatrical performance. When his father died at the age of 44, Marius was still in his early teens and well on his way to a successful film career. His first taste of public recognition came with the 1979 film Theo Gegen den Rest der Welt. His role as a disgruntled truck driver brought him to the public's attention, which he used as a catalyst to build upon what had previously been only modest musical pursuits -- he had played rhythm guitar and harmonica and sung in groups around his native Düsseldorf, but his recordings and live performances only elevated him to the level of a minor cult figure. Mit Pfefferminz Bin Ich Dein Prinz, Westernhagen's debut, built upon his silver-screen success, and went gold after three years on the market. Two more records followed: Sekt Oder Selters (1980) and Stinker (1981). Throughout the '80s, Westernhagen's popularity continued to build steam throughout the European rock scene. His rapid-fire releases, nearly one a year for the next several years, kept fans interested and opened doors for regular touring. The industry is not full of "slow and steady" success stories, but there are exceptions. Westernhagen, better than two decades after his recording debut, hit Billboard's European Top 100 in 2005 with Nahaufnahme. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez