Sarah Marianne Corina Lewe (born June 13, 1980), better known by her stage name Sarah Connor, is a German singer, songwriter, and television personality. Connor debuted in 2001 under the guidance of artist manager George Glueck and became the first solo act to ever have four consecutive chart-topping hits on the German Singles Chart. Following success in mainland Europe with her single "From Sarah with Love" and her debut album Green Eyed Soul, a series of hit records established her position as the most successful German pop female vocalists to emerge in the 2000s with sales in excess of over 15 million copies worldwide. Her seventh studio album Real Love, was released in October 2010, amid her engagement as judge on the German reality television show X Factor. Her first German album Muttersprache released on May 22, 2015 debuted on the top of the German and Swiss Albums Chart.
Awarded with several prizes and accolades, Connor has received four Comets, a Top of the Pops Award, a Goldene Kamera, a Goldene Europa, a World Music Award, and two Echos. She married the American pop-rock musician Marc Terenzi in 2004, with whom she appeared in two reality shows, Sarah & Marc in Love (2007) and Sarah & Marc Crazy in Love (2008). They ended their relationship with divorce in 2008.
Connor is the eldest of six siblings born to Michael Lewe, an advertising writer, and his wife Soraya Lewe-Tacke (née Gray), a former fashion model and homemaker of Scottish, Irish and German heritage, in Hamburg. She has four sisters: Anna Maria, Marisa, Sophia-Luisa, and Valentina; and one brother, Robin. Her maternal half-brothers Mick and Lex were born in 2008.
Connor grew up listening to soul music, mostly influenced by her paternal grandfather who was born in New Orleans. A church choir became her first experience in the gospel music field at a very young age. In her teen years Connor tried out and was accepted to a performing arts school. Although all students were required to choose an instrument, Connor was the only one allowed to study voice. She took vocal lessons once a week and worked as a waitress in a hotel to pay for them.
In 1997, Connor was picked to sing with the backing choir during the performance of "Heal the World" at Michael Jackson's HIStory concert tour in Bremen, Germany. Overwhelmed by a personal meeting with Jackson at the end of the show, she signed a contract with her first management the following year, that resulted in her pseudonym Sarah Gray and the recording of a number of demo tapes, including cover versions such as "Silent Night" and "This Christmas" and the local radio success "Ula la Ula." In 1999, she provided the leading vocals for producer Marc van Linden's dance remix of the 1982 record "Last Unicorn," which reached number 86 on the German Singles Chart. Unhappy with her management though, Connor teamed up with manager Carlo Vista, who got her signed as Sarah Connor with producer George Glueck's label X-Cell Records a short time after. As a direct consequence, she decided to quit school and leave home at the age of 19.
2001–2003: Breakthrough with From Sarah With Love
Connor fluctuated between Hamburg, Hannover and Berlin to work on her debut album, involving producers such as Bülent Aris, Toni Cottura, Diane Warren, and the production duo Rob Tyger and Kay Denar. Green Eyed Soul, which was eventually released on November 26, 2001 in German-speaking Europe, yielded her first two singles "Let's Get Back to Bed – Boy!", a collaboration with American R&B singer TQ, and "French Kissing", a song based on BLACKstreet's "No Diggity". However, it was the album's third single "From Sarah with Love" co-written with Brian Lighthouse; which reached the top position in Germany, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland and raised Connor's fame all over Europe. The song garnered the singer a Comet and an ECHO Award. Album reviews were generally positive, with laut.de especially praising Connor's vocal strengths.
Only ten months later, her second album Unbelievable (2002) was released in Europe. Wyclef Jean wrote, produced and rapped on the album's lead single, "One Nite Stand (of Wolves and Sheep)", which once again entered the top 5. Unbelievable simultaneously achieved gold status in Germany within 48 hours and spawned another three singles, including "Skin on Skin", "He's Unbelievable" and "Bounce".
In October 2003, Connor released a live DVD branded Sarah Connor Live – A Night to Remember: Pop Meets Classic, whose performance had been recorded at the Alten Kasselhaus in Düsseldorf on January 24, including individual performances of own songs with a classical orchestra backing her up. In November 2003, in spite of being heavily pregnant with her first child, Connor released her third album called, Key to My Soul. The album's first single, "Music Is the Key" featuring New York a cappella singers Naturally 7, became her second number-one hit in Germany. "Just One Last Dance", the album's second and final single, was a re-recorded edition of the album's original version, including new vocals by Marc Terenzi's band Natural. The duet once again reached number-one in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland and the top 20 on a composite World Top 40.
The album Sarah Connor featured the first single, "Bounce". It was released in many countries. including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. In Germany, the single made it to #14 on the charts. In England and Ireland it peaked at number 14 and was certified gold in Australia. In America, the song only managed a #54 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album made it to number 106 and took off in the U.S., selling almost 100.000 copies.
2004–2008: International success
After a lengthy hiatus that saw the birth of her son Tyler, Connor returned to music in fall 2004 with the release of her single "Living to Love You." The ballad reached number-one in Germany and Switzerland, becoming her third consecutive chart-topper, and preceded her fourth album Naughty But Nice (2005). Connor re-teamed with longtime contributors Booya, Kay Denar und Rob Tyger to work on the album, whose release coincided with the broadcast of her ProSieben reality series Sarah & Marc in Love. Her highest-charting effort yet, Naughty But Nice debuted on top of the German Albums Chart and reached the top three in Austria and Switzerland, selling 100,000 copies within the first two days of its release. Critical reaction towards the album was generally mixed, with Allmusic rating it three starts out of five, and laut.de summing it as "underclass music for the disco around the corner." Spawning just one another single, "From Zero to Hero" was picked to be used as the theme song to the computer-animated movie Robots (2005),The song became her fifth chart-topping single in Germany and the fourth number-one hit single in a row.
In fall 2005, Connor embarked on the Naughty but Nice concert tour. Compiling twenty-three dates in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, the tour concluded a month later. In December 2005, she released a holiday album named Christmas in My Heart. Containing a mix of traditional but contemporary English standards and re-written German songs in English language, both the album and its same-titled lead single reached number four on the charts. Eventually certified platinum by the IFPI, the album was re-released the following year, including the previously unreleased single "The Best Side of Life," another top four success.
Returning from yet another hiatus after the birth of her daughter Summer in 2006, Connor released her sixth studio album Soulicious in March 2007. Mainly made up of 1960s and 70s Motown covers, but also including two original songs, recording for the entire album took place at the former main building of the Berliner Rundfunk, where Connor was backed by a symphonic orchestra of forty-eight musicians. Upon its release, the album reached the top ten in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, where it each reached gold status. Critics, again, gave Soulicious a mixed response, with CDStarts.de calling it "a sterile soul adaption for The Dome stage." Leading single "The Impossible Dream (The Quest)," which was featured in a publicity campaign for the comeback fight of German boxer Henry Maske, and "Sexual Healing," a duet with American singer Ne-Yo, reached the top ten and top twenty of the singles charts respectively.
Heading into a new musical direction, Connor intensified work on her next original album with producers such as Remee, Thomas Troelsen and J. R. Rotem. In May 2008, it was announced Connor and her family would once again participate in an eight-part reality show titled Sarah and Marc: Still Crazy in Love" on ProSieben. The special began airing on July 3, 2008, and followed the recording and promotional events for the new album, branded Sexy as Hell. Its first single, "Under My Skin," co-written by Troelsen, was released on August 1, 2008, in German-speaking Europe, with the album following on August 22, 2008. Subsequently, she was nominated for an ECHO.
2009–present: X-Factor, Real Love and Muttersprache
In 2009, Connor contributed to a re-recorded version of Enrique Iglesias' duet "Takin' Back My Love," replacing American singer Ciara's original vocals on the song. Released as the second single from Iglesias' 2008 Greatest Hits album in German-speaking Europe, Poland and the Czech Republic, it reached the top ten of the German Singles Chart. In April 2010, it was announced that Connor would appear alongside mentor George Glueck and musician Till Brönner as a judge on the debut series of X Factor, broadcast on the German VOX network. Connor was given the 16-24s category (made up of solo contestants between 16 and 24) but failed to reach the final show when her contestant Mati Gavriel was eliminated in his seventh week and Edita Abdieski was crowned the winner of X Factor instead. Amid her appearances on X Factor, Connor released her eighth studio album Real Love on October 22, 2010. It earned a lukewarm reception by critics, and debuted at number eight on the German Albums Chart. Altogether, Real Love produced two singles, including "Cold as Ice," which reached the top twenty on the German Singles Chart, and its title track, both of which became her lowest-charting singles in years. Connor returned for the second and third X Factor series in 2011 and 2012 and was given the groups and over 25s categories, respecitvely. Again, her contestants Nica & Joe and Björn Paulsen each placed third, losing to David Pfeffer and Mrs. Greenbird.
Following a hiatus, in 2014, Connor appeared in the reality television series Sing meinen Song - Das Tauschkonzert, the German version of The Best Singers series. In 2015, Connor released her ninth studio album Muttersprache, her first album to be entirely recorded in German. Encouraged to record songs in her native language, following her performances on Sing meinen Song, Connor worked with a smaller range of producers on the album, including Daniel Faust, Peter Plate, and Ulf Leo Sommer. Upon its release, Muttersprache debuted on top of on the German Albums Chart, becoming her second number-one album following 2005's Naughty but Nice. With first week sales of more than 100,000 copies in Germany, Muttersprache was certified gold by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI) just days after its release. It has since been certified platinum. The album also debuted at number-one on the Swiss Albums Chart, her first album to do so. "Wie schön du bist" became Connor's highest-charting single in a decade, reaching number two on the German Singles Chart, and sold over 260,000 copies.
Connor met Marc Terenzi, the lead singer of American boy band Natural, at the Bravo Happy Holidays festival in Rust, Germany in July 2002. The pair began dating and in June 2003, it was announced they were engaged and expecting their first child, Tyler Marc Terenzi, who was born on February 2, 2004 in Orlando, Florida. On February 29, 2004 the couple invited their friends to a dinner supposedly to celebrate the birth of their son; however they announced that they in fact had eloped. The couple renewed their vows this time with a wedding ceremony on August 18, 2005 in Altafulla, Tarragonès, near Barcelona, Spain. The wedding was the subject of their ProSieben reality show Sarah and Marc in Love. On June 23, 2006, Connor gave birth to their second child, a girl, named Summer Antonia Soraya. In November 2008, Connor announced her separation from Terenzi.
In April 2010, Connor announced that she is in a relationship with her manager, Florian Fischer, the singer of the 1990s pop group The Boyz. In February 2011, the two confirmed that they were expecting a child. Their daughter Delphine Malou was born in September 2011. They welcomed their son Jax Llewyn in January 2017.
- 1Live Krone
- 2005 – Best Female Artist
- Bravo Otto
- 2001 – Female Singer – Silver
- 2003 – Female Singer – Bronze
- 2004 – Female Singer – GOLD
- 2005 – Female Singer – GOLD
- 2006 – Female Singer – GOLD
- 2007 – Female Singer – Bronze
- 2008 – Female Singer – GOLD
- 2001 – Best National Newcomer
- 2005 – Best Female Artist
- 2007 – Best Female Artist
- 2009 – Best Female Artist
- 2005 – Music Artist of the Year
- ECHO (including nominations)
- 2002 – Best National Newcomer (Green Eyed Soul) – nominated
- 2002 – Best National Female Pop/Rock Artist (Green Eyed Soul) – WON
- 2002 – Best National Single – From Sarah with Love – nominated
- 2003 – Best National Female Pop/Rock Artist (Unbelievable) – nominated
- 2004 – Best National Female Pop/Rock Artist (Key to My Soul) – nominated
- 2006 – Best National Female Pop/Rock Artist (Naughty But Nice) – nominated
- 2007 – Best National Female Pop/Rock Artist (Christmas in my Heart) – nominated
- 2008 – Best National Female Pop/Rock Artist (Soulicious) – nominated
- 2009 – Best National Female Pop/Rock Artist (Sexy as Hell) – nominated
- 2011 – Best National Female Pop/Rock Artist (Real Love) – nominated
- 2015 – Partner of the Year (Sing meinen Song) – WON
- 2016 – Best National Female Pop/Rock Artist (Muttersprache) – nominated
- 2016 – Album of the Year (Muttersprache) – nominated
- Goldene Europa
- 2002 – Most Successful German Female Singer
- Goldene Kamera
- 2005 – Pop National
- 2002 – Woman of the Year – Pop Star
- Neo Award
- 2004 – Most Downloaded Album – Key to mMy Soul
- Radio Regenbogen Award
- 2002 – Best Hit 2001 – From Sarah with Love
- Top of the Pops Award
- 2001 Best German Newcomer
- World Music Award
- 2004 – Best Selling German Artist
- World of Music Award
- 2008 – Best National Female Artist
|Television guest appearances|
|2005||"Sarah & Marc in Love"||Herself||Reality Television|
|2008||"Sarah & Marc Crazy in Love"||Herself||Reality Television, Promo for Sexy as Hell|
|2009||Leo Piepmatz rockt das Haus: Eine Mut-Mach-Geschichte für kleine Löwen und große Rockstars||Herself||Hearbook|
|2014||Sing meinen Song - Das Tauschkonzert||Herself||Television Music Show by VOX
|2014||Sing meinen Song - Das Tauschkonzert (Das Weihnachtskonzert)||Herself||Television Music Show by VOX
The Christmas Conzert
- Green Eyed Soul Tour (2002)
- Sarah Connor Live (2003–2004)
- Naughty but Nice Tour (2005)
- Sexy as Hell Tour (2009)
- Sarah Connor China Tour (Beijing/Guangzhou) (2010-2012)
- Christmas in My Heart Live (2012,2013)
- Muttersprache Live (2015)
- Muttersprache Live (2016)
- Muttersprache Live (2017)