Born Klaus Sperber in Bavaria, Germany, Klaus Nomi began singing from a young age. In the '60s, he worked as an usher at the Deutsche Opera in West Berlin, singing in front of the fire curtain after shows for the other ushers and maintenance crew. He started singing operatic arias at a gay discotheque called Kleist Casino. When he moved to New York City in 1972, he immersed himself in the East Village art scene, supporting himself by working as a pastry chef while he took singing lessons. Nomi was unmistakable, a walking work of art, styled like an alien with heavy makeup, a signature hairdo that flaunted his receding hairline and a variety of outlandish outfits. His operatic singing style blended with the synthesizer-based music popular at the time, resulting in a highly distinct pop hybrid whose influence can be clearly traced in modern music even as it remains entirely singular. He presented himself as “the perfect video star,” developing his bizarre persona before audiences throughout New York City. After appearing as one of David Bowie’s backing singers on "Saturday Night Live" in 1979, Klaus became a cult figure. Klaus Nomi died at the age of 39, just on the cusp of international stardom and shortly before the venue that would have inevitably broke him, MTV, hit it big. His cult following remains strong.

"The future is now. People are always waiting for the future to come. I think we start right now, at this moment. This is where the future is. The future has begun." - Klaus Nomi
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