The executive board of Germany’s Music Industry Association (BVMI) that it had decided to discontinue the Echo Awards after the prize was awarded to two rappers whose song contains anti-Semitic lyrics. Kollegah and Farid Bang won the Echo for hip-hop for an album whose lyrics referenced physiques “more defined that those of Auschwitz inmates” and called for “another Holocaust; let’s grab the Molotov” cocktails.
Several prominent German musicians returned their own Echo Awards in protest. Kollegah and Farid Bang subsequently apologized for the lyrics, and their record label donated $125,000 towards a campaign to fight anti-Semitism.
BVMI wrote in a statement that “The Echo brand (was) so badly damaged” by the incident “that a complete new beginning is necessary.”
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