Rocking the System

For almost 25 years, Herbert Grönemeyer has dominated German popular culture. In 1981 he starred as the naive young journalist Lieutenant Werner in the WW II epic Das Boot (The Boat); the film became Germany's highest grossing box-office export and was nominated for six Oscars. Next, Grönemeyer turned to music; he's since racked up more than 15 million album sales with his blue-collar stadium rock. His latest release, 2002's Mensch (Human), sold 3.2 million copies, making it the most successful album ever released in Germany.

Yet the 49-year-old singer, who now lives in London, remains humble. "I don't...

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