One mark of a great international city is the variety and vitality of the music it produces. By that measure, Berlin has reason to be proud. This sample of just six Berlin acts, chosen by Billboard correspondent Wolfgang Spahr, highlights the diversity of styles on the city's music scene and the impact of its artists beyond their native market.

JOY DENALANE
Six years after entering the music business and after huge German success, Afro-German soul singer Joy Denalane is going international with her English-language album "Born & Raised" (Nesola/Four Music/Sony BMG). Released in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Holland, Italy, South Africa, Japan and Greece last year, France, Belgium, Norway, Eastern Europe, Finland and Denmark followed suit in March. Hartwig Masuch, Berlin-based managing director of her publisher BMG Music Publishing, says, "Joy Denalane is the queen of soul and hip-hop and will soon have an international presence in the charts with this great album."

DIE ÄRZTE
This hard-rocking punk band has been a near-permanent resident on the German charts since its breakthrough in the '80s. According to its label, Hot Action Records (distributed by Universal), Die Ärzte has career sales of 13 million albums and 7 million singles, with latest album "Bäst of Die Ärzte" going straight to No. 2 in Germany, and staying in the charts for 20 weeks. The band tours regularly across Europe, South America and Japan and has become strongly linked with Germany's anti-fascist movement, although band member Bela B stresses they're not too serious. "We do punk as fun party music, with absurd topics such as excessive alcohol consumption or cynical-ironic social criticism," he says.

MAX RAABE
With his nostalgic '20s swing sound, Max Raabe has had major success in Germany with his Palast Orchester since 1986, but has also made inroads internationally, with rapturously received concerts in New York (where he sold out Carnegie Hall), Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris, Moscow, Rome and Los Angeles. "Initially the [American] fans were emigrants from Germany who had had to leave their home country under the Nazis and relived old memories in New York," Raabe says. "But today, when we appear in the U.S., our fans are ordinary Americans." Latest album "Komm, Lass Uns Einen Kleinen Rumba Tanzen" (WSM/Warner Music) was released in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary last year, with a Japanese release scheduled for April.

TOKIO HOTEL
This boy band is one of the most successful German-language acts of recent years, with four No. 1 singles in Germany, Austria and Poland. Since 2005, Tokio Hotel has sold more than 2 million albums in Germany, Switzerland and Austria combined, and became the first German-language act to make the French top 20 with its debut album "Schrei" (Universal). The follow-up, "Zimmer 483," was released in February and has sold more than 700,000 units across Germany, Switzerland and Austria in its first eight weeks, according to the label. Tom Bohne, managing director of Universal's domestic department in Berlin, says, "Tokio Hotel is a German phenomenon and will conquer Europe after the big success in France." Plans are now afoot for the band to record in English, although Bohne says no timetable has yet been decided.

WIR SIND HELDEN
Now one of the most successful German groups, Wir Sind Helden (We Are Heroes) was named after David Bowie's homage to Berlin, "Heroes." Its first two albums, "Die Reklamation" and "Von Hier An Blind" (EMI), are both certified double-platinum (400,000 units) in Germany and the band is now eyeing international success. "WSH has potential for European chart performance in the coming years," says Walter Holzbaur, managing director of Wintrup, the band's publisher. The act has already recorded Japanese and French versions of its songs, played two sold-out shows last year at the Garage in London and has a new album slated for release in May.

SEEED
This 11-member-strong reggae band was founded in 1998 and owes its breakthrough to Berlin: Its first hit, "Dickes B," was a declaration of love for the German capital. Since then, Seeed has become a regular on the German charts, picking up four consecutive gold records (100,000 units) and three Echo Awards along the way. Last year, the band performed at the opening ceremony of the 2006 soccer World Cup in Munich, appearing in front of a worldwide TV audience of 1.4 billion. Seeed has also toured Africa, regularly records English versions of its songs and even gained a hit single, "Waterpumpee," in 2002 in Jamaica, after collaborating with Cee-Lo Green, Anthony B and Tanya Stephens. But bassist Tobsen Cordes says Seeed will remain true to its roots. "We are born in Berlin and get all our emotions from the city," he says. "That's why our albums are so successful."

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