German superstar Herbert Groenemeyer today (May 19) opened proceedings at the inaugural British Music Week in Berlin.

German superstar Herbert Groenemeyer today (May 19) opened proceedings at the inaugural British Music Week in Berlin.

Speaking at the British Embassy, Groenemeyer, an Anglophile who has lived in the United Kingdom, told an international delegation of media and music industry about how British music inspired his illustrious career.

Groenemeyer's September 2002 album release "Mensch" (Capitol) broke a host of records en route to more than three million sales. "Mensch" is recognized as the best-selling German-language album ever recorded, according to the IFPI. It is also the best-selling record in the history of Germany's record industry.

The British Phonographic Industry launched the May 19-26 event to capitalize on growing international interest in new U.K. music, and to create networking and promotional opportunities for its members.

Over the course of the week, more than 30 British bands -- including Razorlight, the Feeling and Belle & Sebastian -- will play in nine Berlin venues. Universal Music Group will host a "Universal Music Night" on Monday (May 22),

"It should come as no surprise that British music is in the ascendancy internationally, and initiatives such as British Music Week can only help raise its profile even more," comments BPI director of communications and development Steve Redmond.

British Music Week rolls out as new statistics reveal that the German industry is becoming increasingly receptive to U.K. Acts. U.K. artists claimed 159 of Germany's top 1,000 airplay hits, achieving more than 420,000 plays for a 17.6% share, according to Nielson Music Control data publishing by the BPI.

Yet-to-be-released statistics will show that U.K. artists' share of the German album market rose in 2005.