“A Mann für Amore”
Born to delight.
Born to delight. When he was born on the 7th January 1971, no one would have been able to predict that Gerhard Friedle from St. Johann in Tirol would become one of the most successful pop stars in the German-speaking world. Gerry grew up with foster parents, his grandmother, and at a boarding school.
After an apprenticeship as a chef, he was homeless for some time and got to know the dark side of life in all its hardship. The fact that he is so positive and optimistic today, with an insatiable urge to make other people happy, may have something to do with this phase of his life.
The turning point in his life came when he won a karaoke competition in 1995. After this first experience of success, Gerry worked as an entertainer, singer, and DJ for several years.
He became a superstar practically overnight in 1999! 14 bands had recorded the song “Anton aus Tirol” without success – he then surprisingly shot to the top of the charts in Austria, Germany, and Denmark with the version by “Anton feat. DJ Ötzi”. Just how big a hit Gerry Friedle from St. Johann had released was even more clearly underlined by the fact that the song stayed in the charts for 42 weeks in Germany and as many as 75 weeks in Austria.
Gerry himself was most surprised by this meteoric rise. While other artists learn to deal with success slowly, DJ Ötzi hardly had a second to process his speedy rise to fame. This makes it all the more admirable that he has always kept his feet firmly on the ground, always stayed the man he was – and has been able to stay at the top to this day!
He gets his international breakthrough with Hey Baby.
And then something nobody had thought possible happened: the single “Hey Baby” achieved the impossible and became No. 1 in England, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, and Australia! DJ Ötzi thus became the first Austrian ever to be awarded gold and platinum in England. His appearance on the legendary TV show “Top of the Pops”, along with Paul McCartney and Jennifer Lopez, was also unforgettable. In the USA, “Hey Baby” is still played at almost all important sporting events – including the Super Bowl.
Gerry was able to top the success of “Hey Baby” with a very private highlight in 2001: he married his girlfriend Sonja on the 8th August. This relationship brought him not only private happiness, but also important support for the rest of his career.
A year packed with highlights.
In 2002, the Tyrolean pop star celebrated a huge success that was hardly noticed in the German-speaking world. He re-recorded the Opus hit “Live is Life” with the “Hermes House Band” and stayed at number 2 in France for 5 weeks. The song sold over 800,000 copies and also became the official anthem of the successful football team “Stade de France”. Two other events made this year unforgettable: first, Gerry received an honour that meant at least as much to him as a number one in the charts: on the 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, he performed with Elvis’s original band in Memphis. A supremely touching moment – and a highly deserved international artistic recognition.
On 17th September, Sonja and Gerry became parents. Their daughter was named Lisa Marie after Elvis´ daughter in honour of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Number 1 from Germany to Japan!
In summer 2003, he proved that a real Tyrolean lad can’t be slowed down even by a boycott. The “Burger Song” was not played by any German-speaking music station – but that didn’t matter, the song still climbed to number 1 in the German charts.
Undoubtedly inspired by his role as a young father, Gerry dedicated himself to a completely different project for the next few years: in 2006, DJ Ötzi Junior released the children’s album “I am the Music Man”. Gerry was the driving force and creative mind behind this album, which made it to number 24 in the German charts and – unbelievable but true – to number 1 in Japan.
A star breaks all records.
In 2007, DJ Ötzi made a spectacular and record-breaking return to the German charts. The song “Ein Stern (der Deinen Namen trägt)”, recorded with Nik P., didn’t just reach number one, it stayed there: for 13 weeks in Germany and 11 in Austria. The song consequently reached number one in the end-of-year charts in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. And the album “Sternstunden” was likewise one of the most successful of the year, awarded with gold and platinum.
The star track then broke an long-standing record. With a total of 41 weeks in the German singles Top 10, the mega hit beat Freddy Quinn’s “Die Gitarre und das Meer” from 1959 (36 weeks in the Top-10) by a long way. Today, the song is still the single that has stayed in the German TOP 100 for the longest. But that’s not all: in 2008 Gerry was also awarded 2 Echos, including one as the best German-language pop artist.
New sounds that come from “From the heart”.
After singing the official song for the European Handball Championship with “Sweet Caroline” in 2010, a childhood dream of the artist came true in 2012. He recorded the album “Simply the best” with the Bellamy Brothers.
After almost ten years, Gerry decided to record a new song with Nik P. in 2016: “Geboren um dich zu lieben” became the hit of the year in 2016. A good start for “Von Herzen”, a very special album, the most personal Gerry has ever made – thus its name, which means “From the heart”. On it, DJ Ötzi doesn’t hide behind any clichés, but reveals his innermost self – and surprises listeners with unfamiliar new sounds.
DJ Ötzi Gipfeltour
In February, 2017 Gerry took time for another affair of the heart: the “DJ Ötzi Peak Tour” took him back to his roots. On his own, without an accompanying band, he performed in selected ski huts, sang, and DJed again. He deliberately chose this small setting in order to have as direct a contact as possible with his fans, who mean so much to him.
After 4 stops in 2017, the DJ Ötzi peak tour took place in 8 winter sports resorts in 2018 due to the ground-breaking success. And the journey continues: in 2019, there will be stops in Germany, Switzerland, and South Tyrol for the first time.
DJ Ötzi Gipfeltreffen
In 2018, Gerry fulfilled a dream and went on a solo concert tour with his band all over Germany for the first time in the history of DJ Ötzi. The DJ Ötzi Peak Tour is a 2-hour hit parade – besides his biggest German and English party hits, fans were also able get to know a musically very emotional and quiet side of DJ Ötzi. The success proves him right – 3 weeks, 12 tour stops, and full concert halls later: after this more than successful premiere, fans can look forward to a sequel in 2019!
But Gerry also cares about social issues. Despite all his success, he has never forgotten when it’s like when things aren’t going so well; that’s why he supports charity projects like the Wärmestube in Salzburg (www.waermestube.at) and is an ambassador of Wings for life – a spinal cord research foundation (www.wingsforlife.com)