Brødrene Olsen -- or, for those keeping up in English, the Olsen Brothers -- started performing together as kids.
Born Jørgen and Niels Olsen (March 15, 1950, and April 13, 1954, respectively) in Odense, Denmark, the pair's first foray into the music world came as part of a band called the Kids, which was formed while Jørgen and Niels were still preteens. By 1965 the Kids had found a modicum of success, culminating in a support slot for the Kinks on their Danish tour. But the magic wasn't to last, and by the time the 1960s had drawn to a close, the Kids were no more, and the Olsen brothers were forging their own path. In 1972, both Jørgen and Niels auditioned for and won parts in their country's version of the musical Hair, with the former landing a lead role and appearing on the soundtrack album. The success of the Olsen Brothers as part of Hair led to a record deal, and in 1972 the two released their debut full-length. The album (Olsen) was a huge hit, and made Jørgen and Niels household names. The 1970s would prove to be both fruitful and exploratory for the brothers, as they recorded a number of hit singles and tried their hand at more esoteric work.
Fortunately for their fans, the Olsen Brothers stuck to a winning commercial formula, and by 1977 Jørgen and Niels were performing in countries as far off as Japan. While the 1980s would see a continuation of their winning ways, the 1990s would find Brødrene Olsen taking more of a back seat, save for Jørgen releasing a solo album. After a few years of focusing on work as educators, the Olsens returned in 1994 with a collection of greatest hits and new tracks entitled Greatest & Latest. In 2000, Brødrene Olsen scored a major success not only for themselves but for Denmark as a whole, when they won the Eurovision Song Contest with the number "Smuk Som et Stjerneskud" (Fly on the Wings of Love). Nothing really equals pop success like a Eurovision win, and the Olsens were quick to jump on their moment. Their 2001 album, Walk Right Back, featured all new songs by the Olsens and was yet another huge hit in Denmark. In 2002 and 2003 Brødrene Olsen released a pair of covers albums -- Songs and More Songs -- the latter of which included a bonus DVD. A new Brødrene Olsen work, Our New Songs, was released in 2005, and that year also saw another attempt at Eurovision (they fell just short in the qualifying round). The album Respect was released in 2008. ~ Chris True, Rovi