The longtime frontman for German heavy metal export the Scorpions, singer Klaus Meine was born May 25, 1948, in the city of Hanover; prior to a stint in the military he led a group called the Mushrooms, and following his service stay he returned home in 1970 to form Copernicus with teen guitar phenom Michael Schenker.
The following year the duo joined the Scorpions, founded six years earlier by Schenker's brother Rudolf, and in 1972 issued their Conrad Plank-produced debut LP Lonesome Crow. Lineup changes plagued the group in the years to come, but subsequent LPs like 1974's Fly to the Rainbow and 1976's Virgin Killer earned them a growing following throughout Europe. With 1980's Animal Magnetism, the Scorps appeared poised for an American breakthrough, but when Meine developed nodes and a polyp on his vocal cords, he required two major surgeries and a half-year of vocal training before returning to action. Despite rumors that he'd been dismissed from the band, Meine came back to complete 1982's Blackout, which generated the hit "No One Like You"; buoyed by the smash "Rock You Like a Hurricane," the 1984 follow-up Love at First Sting went double platinum in the U.S. In 1988, the Scorps became the first metal band to tour Russia; the experience inspired the ballad "Wind of Change," a Top Five pop hit in 1991. Although the emergence of grunge effectively derailed the group's American following, they remain popular overseas. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi