Digital Media Concepts/Bill Kaulitz

Bill Kaulitz (born September 1, 1989), also under the single alias Billy (written as BILLY) for solo works, is a German singer, songwriter, voice actor, designer, and model. His most recognizable work spans from 2001 to the present under the rock band Tokio Hotel as its lead singer.

Birth nameBill Kaulitz
BornSeptember 1, 1989 (1989-09-01) (age 34)
OriginLeipzig, East Germany
GenrePop rock . pop punk . alternative rock . electropop . emo pop . power pop
Years active2001–present

Early Life edit

Bill Kaulitz was born on 1 September 1989 in Leipzig, German Democratic Republic. His twin brother, Tom, is older by ten minutes. At the age of seven, his parents, Simone Kaulitz and Jörg W., had separated. Simone eventually remarried Gordon Trümper, the guitarist of German rock band Fatun, on 1 August 2009 after being together for 12 years.

The twins displayed an interest in singing and guitar at an early age. Trümper was the one who encouraged the twins to start their own band. Kaulitz mentioned in several interviews that he and Tom began writing music at the age of seven.

Career edit

Early Musical Career (1999-2003) edit

By the young age of ten, the brothers started their performing career in Magdeburg, a city near Loitsche. They mainly specialized in small live shows. Unfortunately, they were still generally unknown by the public. At this point, they had neither a drummer nor a bass player. They had to mitigate their missing sounds with a keyboard.

After turning 12, they met Georg Listing (then 14) and Gustav Schäfer (then 13) after one of their shows. They offered to join once they listened to the twins' music. An unnamed article quoted their work as being "devilishly great" hence giving them the band name "Devilish." They all performed together with greater success. On the contrary, it wasn't until Kaulitz auditioning on the reality TV talent show "Star Search" did their fame really shoot.

First Releases edit

In the year 2005, the group was placed in a meeting with Universal Music Group's Interscope Records and established their name under the title Tokio Hotel. They quickly got to work and within the same year, their debut LP Schrei ("Scream") was released. Their first single from the aforementioned LP was "Dursh den Monsun" ("Through The Monsoon"). Its massive success made it hit #1 in Germany shortly after release.

First Tour and Growing Success edit

Their debut tour took place in Germany in order to support Schrei's release. They toured all throughout Germany and even released a live DVD. His act was well-liked since he maintained an energetic style and was capable of harmonizing with the audience.

In 2006, Kaulitz voiced in the German dub of Arthur and the Invisibles as the main character, Arthur.

Tokio Hotel's works gained the band much fame and this was much motivation to come back to the studio. After Schrei's success, they started working on their next official album, Zimmer 483 (Room 483), which was released in February 2007. Three singles were noted from this album: "Übers Ende der Welt" ("Over the End of the World" – released as "Ready, Set, Go!"), "Spring nicht" ("Don't Jump"), and "An deiner Seite (Ich bin da)" ("By Your Side (I am there)" – released as "By Your Side"). There was a notable fourth single, "Heilig" ("Holy - released as "Sacred"), that was released in 2008.

In order to support Zimmer 483's release, Tokio Hotel launched another tour, this time going around Europe as a whole. Another live DVD was created and this gave way to much more publicity.

International Breakthrough (2007-2008) edit

Love for Tokio Hotel grew rapidly in the Western part of the world. This prompted everyone to re-record songs from both their German albums into English so every fan can better interpret and understand their songs. The work on this project birthed Tokio Hotel's debut English album, titled Scream. It was released first in Europe in mid-2007 then in the West by mid-2008.

The album spawned four singles, including "Scream", "Monsoon" (the translated version of "Durch den Monsun" though it wasn't 100% accurately translated), "Don't Jump" (the translated version of "Spring Nicht"), and "Ready, Set, Go!" (the translated version of "Übers Ende der Welt", again not 100% translated).

In February 2008, Tokio Hotel officially made its way into North America. They played five shows, starting in Canada and ending in New York. This success led them to be the first German act since Nena to gain and maintain international success. While their U.S. was a general success, there was trouble coming in Europe.

1000 Hotels tour and Medical Complications edit

Their next tour, 1000 Hotels, took off in Brussels, Belgium, on 3 March 2008, and was scheduled for performing in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and finally Scandinavia, ending 9 April. Unfortunately, eleven days into their tour. Kaulitz was gaining vocal problems during a show in Marseilles, France. He had to mitigate this by giving the audience more to sing and helping the band cut their list down from twenty-one to sixteen songs.

Two days later, Tokio Hotel had to cancel a show in Lisbon, Portugal soon before it was to start. The members announced on stage of this cancellation and apologized for it. They explained their reasoning was that Kaulitz was sick and had to be escorted back to Germany to see a specialist. He had played forty-three shows without a break, which led to an untreated throat infection developing. This was resulting in a cyst to grow on his vocal cords and larynx surgery was needed. Kaulitz went through the said surgery on 30 March. The aftermath of this was him being unable to speak for ten days and having to undergo speech therapy for one month.

He managed to fully recover by May 2008 and the group was able to reschedule the tour with more open-air concerts. The tour concluded on 13 July 2008 in Werchter, Belgium. Even with this surgery speed bump, the tour was still named successful.

"Humanoid" (2008-2011) edit

During the years of 2008 and 2009, Tokio Hotel worked to record their second English album and third German album. The result of this work was "Humanoid". Contrary to Scream, Humanoid's take on the tracks was leaning more towards techno. Humanoid was released 6 October 2009 and not long after, Tokio Hotel received the "Best Group" award at the EMAs in Berlin. The album's best singles were "Automatic"/"Automatisch", released in September 2009, and "World Behind My Wall"/"Lass uns laufen" (meaning "Let Us Run").

Kings of Suburbia and Solo Projects (2012–present) edit

In May 2012, Kaulitz collaborated on the song "If I Die Tomorrow" by Far East Movement on the latter's album Dirty Bass.

Tokio Hotel announced their fifth studio album, Kings of Suburbia, in 2013 and released it October 3, 2014.

In 2016, Kaulitz announced plans for his own solo project under the new alias "Billy" (stylized as BILLY). His first EP, I'm Not OK, was released on May 20 of that year.

Personal Life edit

Both Bill and Tom lived in Hamburg but had to move to Los Angeles in October 2010 due to an incident caused by stalkers and robbery. It was also said by them to be more convenient for recording music since it's closer to residence of their manager, David Jost. They currently have homes in both Los Angeles and Hamburg. Bill is vegetarian and recognized as a sponsor for PETA.

Social media posts from November 2014 had him talking about love, labels, and his sexuality. However he has yet to state his sexual orientation, quoting: "Maybe I'm just about to meet someone who changes my life forever and, if that happens, does it really matter what gender they are?"

Kaulitz is a supporter of Angela Merkel and also supported the CDU during the 2017 German federal election.

Stalking Incident edit

There was an incident during late 2008/early 2009; several female stalkers had chased down the band, even once pursuing Tom Kaulitz to his parents' home in Germany to harm their mother. The issue possibly stopped in April 2009 after Tom attacked one of the stalkers at a gas station and drove off. This led to Tom possibly standing trial for assault. The charges against him were lifted and he pressed charges himself, against the girl he hit, on grounds of stalking.

Discography edit

As solo artist BILLY edit

Devilish edit

  • Devilish (self-released, 2001)

Tokio Hotel edit

References edit

  • Scan/Translation. "Simone Kaulitz Marries?" Archived July 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, 2009-8-1. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  • Oei, Roland, "Tokio Hotel", pg. 20 & 21, PowerPlay, Issue 91, September 2007