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German singer, pop star, schlager queen, and all-around entertainer Helene Fischer became one of the most popular musical artists of the late 2000s and early 2010s. Early in her career, she continually racked up hits in Germany and Austria, then crested with the 2013 release of Farbenspiel, which became one of the most popular albums in German history. Hailing from one of the most unlikely places for a pop star, Fischer was born in Krasnoyarsk in Russian Siberia in August 1984. Her family, being of German descent, soon found their way back to Central Europe, relocating to Germany while Fischer was still a youngster. She went on to study music and theater in Frankfurt, eventually landing a record contract and releasing her first album, Von Hier bis Unendlich (From Here to Infinity), in February 2006. Her second album, So Nah Wie Du (As Close as You), followed in September 2007. Both albums were extremely popular in Germany, making Fischer one of the country's most recognized schlager singers. In 2008, she released Zaubermond, which was accompanied by a live DVD of the same name, while in 2009, as her stardom increased, So Wie Ich Bin became a number one in Austria. Released in 2010, The English Ones saw Fischer release her first English-language album, before she hit the top of the German charts in 2011 with Für Einen Tag. Continuing to expand her horizons, Fischer made her acting debut in early 2013 on an episode of German TV series Das Traumschiff. Later in 2013, she released the hugely successful Farbenspiel. Led by a powerhouse single titled "Atemlos Durch die Nacht," the album topped the German charts and went platinum within five days of its release. It continued to hit number one in Germany and Austria well into 2014, giving Fischer nearly 50 combined weeks at the top of the German, Austrian, or Swiss charts. Her success continued with the 2015 release of her first Christmas album, Weihnachten, another chart-topper that eventually went four times platinum in her home country. ~ Chris True