Stylized and geometric illustration of head and shoulders in black on a black and white striped background.
© KLAUS NOMI 1980
Klaus Nomi, born Klaus Sperber, was a German musician and performer, known for his wide vocal range and unique live shows. He moved to New York City in 1972, but did not truly begin his career in show business until 1978, when he performed in the New Wave Vaudeville and received several invitations to perform across the city. One such invitation came from David Bowie, who hired Nomi as a backup performer for his appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1979. Bowie also served as inspiration for Nomi's notable black-and-white monochromatic quasi-tuxedo suit, which he wore for music videos and live performances. Nomi found success as a solo artist and released two studio albums in 1981 and 1982, as well as several singles. In 1983, he died due to complications from AIDS, and his ashes were spread throughout New York City.