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Music / Nena

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"Hast du etwas Zeit für mich?
Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich..."
— "99 Luftballons"

Gabriele Susanne Kerner (born March 24, 1960), better known by her stage name Nena, is a German singer. She is best known for her 1983 hit song "99 Luftballons" ("99 Red Balloons" in English).


As the band Nena:
  • Nena (1983)
  • 99 Luftballons (1984)note 
  • ? (Fragezeichen) (1983)
  • Feuer und Flamme (1985)
  • It's All in the Game (1985)
  • Eisbrecher (1986)

As the solo artist Nena:

  • Wunder gescheh'n (1989)
  • Bongo Girl (1992)
  • Und alles dreht sich (1994)
  • Jamma nich (1997)
  • Wenn alles richtig ist, dann stimmt was nich (1998)
  • Chokmah (2001)
  • Nena feat. Nena (2002)
  • Willst du mit mir gehn (2005)
  • Cover Me (2007)
  • Made in Germany (2009)
  • Du bist gut (2012)
  • Oldschool (2015)

99 Lufttropes!

  • After the End: The final verse of "99 Luftballons" has a survivor exploring a ruined city after "ninety-nine years of war" has destroyed civilization as we know it.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 2. "99 Luftballons" tells the story of two kids who buy 99 red balloons from a party store, inflate them, and set them free to the wind. Government radars proceed to misread them as international spy drones, and accusations are thrown from country to country over whose they belong to, resulting in a war that ends up wiping out most of humanity and ruins nearly every city in the world.
  • Bookends: "99 Luftballons" opens with the English version of the Title Track and ends with the German version.
  • Cold War: The government paranoia and their finger hovering over the button of nuclear annihilation by the slightest incentive are reflected in "99 Luftballons".
  • Cover Song: Cover Me is an entire album of her covering various other artists, including The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and The Cure.
  • Let's Duet: Performed one with Kim Wilde on the song "Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime".
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "99 Luftballons" is a catchy, danceable Post-Punk song about the military bombing a small town after mistaking some balloons for bogies. Kerner jokes that this was why the English version she recorded wasn't as successful.
  • The Movie Buff: The song "Kino" is essentially about one's love of going to the movies.
  • My Name Is ???: One of her songs is simply titled "?".
  • Shoot Everything That Moves: What "99 Luftballons" is about: "Something showing up on the radar? No time to figure out what it is! Nuke it!"
  • Shout-Out: In both the original and English versions of "99 Luftballons", the gung-ho jet fighter pilots think/act like they're Captain Kirk, with tragic consequences.