Catharina Hagen, 11 March 1955, East Berlin, Germany. After her parents divorced in 1957, Hagen was raised in a suburb in the eastern bloc by her actress mother and her stepfather, dissident poet and songwriter Wolf Biermann. In 1964, she joined the Thalmann-Pioneers, a Communist youth organization and, four years later, the Freie Deutsche Jugend - from which she was excluded for her hand in a demonstration (instigated by Biermann) against the participation of East German militia in the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. On failing a 1972 entrance test for a Berlin-Schönweide drama college, she sang a mixture of blues and soul with a Polish outfit for several months prior to enrolment at the Studio Für Unterhaltungsmusik (Studio For Popular Music) where she was an outstanding student. For a few years, she toured East Germany as featured vocalist with the Alfons-Wonneberg-Orchester before fronting Automobil and then Fritzens Dampferband (Freds...
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