Sunday, June 15, 2014


Nico was born under the name Christa Päffgen in Cologne, Germany on October 16, 1938.  Christa never got to know her father who was a soldier fighting for the Nazi army during World War II and either died from shell shock injuries or died in a concentration camp.  Whatever the case, while she was being raised by her Mother and her Grandfather, Christa was only two years old when her family relocated outside the Spreewald Forest nearby Berlin, Germany.  Christa and her Mother relocated again this time to Downtown, Berlin, Germany without her Grandfather where her Mother sewed clothing for a clothing manufacturing firm.  Christa dropped out of school when she was thirteen years old to sell lingerie in KaDeWe Department Store.  Three years later at age sixteen, a photographer named Herbert Tobias discovered Christa as she worked at KaDe We and had her renamed Nico.  Nico found employment as a fashion model before ending up as a close friend and protégé of artist Andy Warhol.  Nico became a regular fixture of Andy Warhol's Factory and another Andy Warhol hangout at the Chelsea Hotel. 
It was Andy Warhol's insistence as producer of the Velvet Underground's debut album that Nico be added to the rock group as lead singer for three songs and backup singer for one song.  Lou Reed never liked the idea of Nico as a bandmate while John Cale was overflowing with enthusiasm.  Lou Reed won and Nico was out after only one album and the resulting tour.  John Cale left the Velvet Underground after two albums with the rock group and went on to produce almost nearly all of Nico's albums.  Nico died in Ibiza, Spain on July 18, 1988.  She either suffered a heat stroke while riding her bicycle or she died from a brain hemorrhage resulting from falling from her bicycle.  Nico was buried soon afterwards.   





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