-> ''You don't know me, I'm not one of your little toys\\
You don't own me, don't say I can't play with other boys\\
And don't tell me what to do, don't tell me what to say\\
Please, when I go out with you, don't put me on display because\\
You don't know me, don't try to change me in any way\\
You don't own me, don't tie me down, 'cause I'd never stay''
-->--'''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJCtxT1v7uM You Don't Own Me]]''' -- ''Klaus Nomi''

''Klaus Nomi'' is...


[[MindScrew Um.]]

[[ShapedLikeItself He just is.]]

Klaus Nomi (born Klaus Sperber, January 24, 1944 August 6, 1983)) was a falsetto {{New Wave|Music}} cover singer, performance artist, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking pastry chef]] who rose to fame in the 1970's. Raised in UsefulNotes/{{Germany}} (and coming from ''outer space''), he started out singing operatic arias in vaudeville shows before becoming one of the most lauded New Wave talents of the era. Sadly, he became a victim of ExecutiveMeddling, and eventually lost control over most of his music. Even more tragic was his early death at age 39 from AIDS, being one of the first celebrities to die from the disease.

He cited Music/ElvisPresley and Maria Callas as his biggest influences, and it shows -- his cover songs are a delicate balance between rock and opera, with a strong New Wave vibe. He appeared on ''Urgh! A Music War.'' where he performed his SignatureSong, "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuSrsGzhD9U Total Eclipse]]" (which was recently covered by Music/NinaHagen). He also worked with Music/DavidBowie (as a backup singer for Bowie's first ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' appearance in 1979), and they inspired each other's wardrobes for a short while.

Klaus Nomi still has a massive fanbase, and is considered by many to be New Wave's best example of DoingItForTheArt.

The only person to even come close to his brand of "post-modern theatricality" is Music/LadyGaga, who cites him as an influence. It shows.

...And he sang ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vXR5gjRMPk The Wizard Of Oz.]]''


* ''[[Music/KlausNomiAlbum Klaus Nomi]]'' (1981)
* ''Music/SimpleMan'' (1982)

!! The works of Klaus Nomi contain examples of the following tropes:

* AfterTheEnd: "Total Eclipse" and "After the Fall" both deal with the apocalypse. The main difference is the first song just decides to accept the end of Earth and dance before it happens, while the second song sings that life will go on somehow.
* AnonymousBand: Initially, Klaus's band all wore black and ski masks to avoid distracting the audience from Klaus's theatrics. Then they realized it wasn't a problem.
** Averted for the ''Urgh!'' performance, which featured a band in weird white outfits, much to the original band's disgust.
* AntiLoveSong: "You Don't Own Me."
* [[TenorBoy Countertenor Boy]]: Nomi didn't just put up a funny voice: He was actually trained as a counter tenor singer.
* CoverVersion: Many. "Lightning Strikes," originally by ''Lou Christie,'' "The Twist," originally by ''Hank Ballard and the Midnighters,'' "You Don't Own Me," originally by ''Lesley Gore,'' "Just One Look," originally by ''Doris Troy,'' "Falling in Love Again," originally by Creator/MarleneDietrich, "Can't Help Falling in Love," originally by Music/ElvisPresley, "I Feel Love," originally by Music/DonnaSummer. "Ding Dong The Witch is Dead," originally from ''Film/TheWizardOfOz.'' And the opera songs.
** ''Lou Christie'' was so impressed by Klaus's version of "Lightning Strikes," he wanted to work on a space opera with Klaus.
* TheCoverChangesTheGender: Spectacularly averted with "You Don't Own Me:" "''Don't say I can't play with other BOYS!''"
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: "Total Eclipse," about nuclear disaster taking place, but Nomi invites everybody to just sing and dance a final time.
* EpicInstrumentalOpener: "From Beyond," "High Wire," and "Fanfare."
* FakeOutFadeOut: "Samson and Delilah (Aria)" seems to end, but then a space rocket sound is heard, after which the song closes for real.
* GratuitousFrench: "Samson and Delilah (Aria)" and "Enchante."
* HeyLetsPutOnAShow: After his first performance at the New Wave Vaudeville, Ann Magnuson asked: ''People who didn't even know Klaus'' to start a band for him.
* IconicOutfit: His tuxedo suit, big black tie, white make-up, black lipstick, and hair stuck up straight.
* IncrediblyLongNote: "The Cold Song" ends with one.
* IndecipherableLyrics: The ''Za Bakdaz'' album.
* LastNoteNightmare: "Samson and Delilah (Aria)" ends with a UFO takeoff.
** He does this ''twice in a row'' on his first album. The otherwise calm "Nomi Chant" becomes a ScareChord in its last second, and his rendition of the aria "Mon Coeur c'ouvre a ta Voix" from ''Samson and Delilah'' ends with what can only be described as him getting back in his space ship and taking off. [[ItMakesSenseInContext It makes sense in his live shows.]]
* MysticalHighCollar: In his late career, Nomi ditched his iconic tuxedo and started wearing Renaissance-inspired clothing with high collars and ruffs. This added to the otherworldly nature of his performances, especially given that he was often performing Renaissance music, but it also allowed him to hide the lesions of the Kaposi's sarcoma that would kill him.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: Klaus is... Pop music covering opera performance art with heavy reliance on synthesizers? Let's just say it's New Wave.
* {{New Wave|Music}}: The genre he's most closely associated with.
* {{Opera}}: He was a countertenor and thus could sing quite high.
* [[OneWomanWail One Countertenor Wail]]: "From Beyond" and its reprise, "Return."
* PowerBallad: {{New Wave|Music}} PowerBallad!
* ProtestSong: "You Don't Own Me," a ''Lesley Gore'' cover, where the protagonist sings about how his lover doesn't have to right to rule him.
* {{Pun}}: Several instances of Nomi/Know me.
* RearrangeTheSong: Nomi covered songs, both from pop and classical music, in ways that sound extremely bizarre and otherwordly.
* RevolvingDoorBand: The original band is not the album band is not the ''Urgh!'' band.
* RhymingWithItself: "Total Eclipse:"
--> ''Total eclipse! It's a total eclipse!''
* {{Rockumentary}}: ''The Nomi Song.''
* ScareChord: "Nomi Chant" ends with one.
* SelfTitledAlbum: His debut album: ''[[Music/KlausNomiAlbum Klaus Nomi.]]''
* SongOfSongTitles: In "After the Fall" from ''Music/SimpleMan:''
--> ''So I told you about the total eclipse now, but still it caught you unawared...''
* TheSongRemainsTheSame: Despite his tendency to RearrangeTheSong, the opera pieces are left basically untouched.
* StageNames: He's really Klaus Sperber.
* TheSomethingSong: "Nomi Song" and "The Cold Song."
* TitleTrack: "Simple Man" from ''Music/SimpleMan'' and "Za Bakdaz" from the never finished project he worked on before his death.
* TouchedByVorlons: He pretended to be from outer space in his lyrics. Not that odd considering he was once a back-up singer for Music/DavidBowie.
* WordSaladLyrics: "Cre Spoda, "Za Bakdaz," and most of that album, really. Also, the album version of the ''Samson and Delilah'' aria isn't actually French.