The Echo Music Prize is a German award given to artists who are considered to have achieved great things in their industry. It was first awarded in 1992 and has continued to become popular ever since. However, all that has come to an end.
In 2018 the rap duo Farid Bang and Kollegah recieved the award for their album Jung, Brutal, Gutaussehend 3. They were then allowed to perform their song “0815” which has caused controversy. This is because the lyrics contain a passage that is considered by many to be antisemitic.
The live performance shocked a large number of people and called into question the legitimacy of the Echo Prize Music Award. During the ceremony punk rock star Campino protested on stage the song lyrics. After this he was given a standing ovation by the audience. Marius Müller-Westernhagen also protested by giving back his own Echo Prize Awards, seven in total. So too did a number of German conductors including Christian Thielemann and Enoch zu Guttenberg.
This criticism did not just stop with people within the industry itself. Other high profile individuals such as the CEO of the company Airbus gave their own condemnation of the performance. So too did a number of ordinary people on social media.
Many people spoke of how the decision would harm the reputation of Germany internationally. Many also voiced concern over how antisemitism is beginning to become normalised within German society. As a result of this controversy the Echo Prize has been discontinued. In a press release the company behind the award stated that it was never the intention for the award to be a place for artists to use as a political platform. In order to prevent this happening in the future the decision has been made to no longer hold the ceremony.