Klaus Nomi

One of the first prominent persons to die of AIDS, Klaus Nomi mixed rock and disco stylings with a classical and operatic repertoire. He was born Klaus Sperber in Immenstadt, Bavaria, Germany in 1944, but moved to New York in the mid-'70s, working as a pastry chef and nightclub singer. One of his sets impressed David Bowie, and Nomi soon found himself backing the star on Saturday Night Live. He began touring Europe and the U.S. as a cabaret act and signed to RCA in 1980. His first single was a cover of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love," and his 1982 debut album included compositions from Chubby Checker alongside Charles Camille Saint-Saëns. Nomi later worked with famed electro producer Man Parrish, but covered baroque composer Henry Purcell as well as Donna Summer. He died on August 6, 1983, after which several compilations were released plus a live date in America. ~ John Bush

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