Singer/actor Kim Frank, who rocketed to fame as the frontman of the short-lived German pop/rock band Echt, embarked on a solo career in 2007 with Hellblau. Born Kim Alexander Frank on May 24, 1982, in Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein, he attended school at Kurt-Tucholsky-Schule, where he co-founded Echt with four of his classmates. Signed to the Laughing H label, the teenaged band made its full-length debut in 1998 with Echt; the album proved popular, charting Top Five in Germany and number 16 in Austria, and spawning four hit singles: "Alles Wird Sich Ändern," "Wir Haben's Getan," "Wo Bist Du Jetzt?," and "Fort von Mir." Echt's follow-up album, Freischwimmer (1999), proved even more popular, charting number one in Germany and Top Ten in both Austria and Switzerland, and spawning another round of hit singles: "Du Trägst Keine Liebe in Dir," "Weinst Du," "Junimond," and "2010." Recorder (2001), Echt's third album and first for Universal was a relative failure, dropping off the German album chart after only four weeks (relative to the 48 weeks logged by Freischwimmer) and spawning only one hit single, and a modest one at that, "Wie Geht Es Dir So?," which also managed only four weeks on the chart. The relative failure of Recorder, along with the tensions that arose during the writing and recording of the album, which was by far the band's most personal effort to date, precipitated the breakup of Echt in 2002. Troubled by the breakup, Frank took some time to pursue his other interests besides music, among them photography and film; most notably, he starred as the lead actor in the German film NVA (2005), performing the roll of Henrik Heidler. He made a high-profile return to the music scene in 2007, however, first releasing via Universal the maxi-single Lara in February, followed by a full-length album, Hellblau, in March and a second maxi-single, Zwei Sommer, in May. Each of these releases charted, with the album breaking into the Top 30. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi