Germany is a “special” country when you are sucessful. Instead of being proud of their stars, Germans often treat them with open envy and jealousy. Sandra got her share of that, too.
From the beginning, people tried to talk her success bad, first saying that she was only a one-hit-wonder, then stating that Sandra's fans simply had a bad taste.
Even musical colleagues like Herbert Grönemeyer or Heinz Rudolf Kunze made insulting statements, probably because they weren’t as successful as her.
If you look objectively at it, Sandra as a singer and a pop star is no different to artists like Madonna or Whitney Houston. Sure, she is “just” a singer but that is no reason to condemn her and others not.
Her voice might be not as strong and powerful as the voice of other female singers, for example Jennifer Rush, but it is unique and unmistakable with an own personality and with lots of sensuality and feeling. However, people with a nasty, cynical nature might see that differently.
And probably that’s why the German press wrote a lot of rubbish about Sandra. The reknowned magazine “Der Spiegel”, normally a role model for objectivity and neutrality but with a tendency to mockery and sarcasm, stated she had the “singing capabilities of a neighing horse”. The “Elle” magazine called her a “Robopop”, the German yellow press magazine “Bunte” said she was a “living Barby doll”.
Such statements obviously were a result of two things. First of course the envy and the jealousy. Michael once stated that many of the German music critics are failed musicians who seem to have a problem with acknowledging the success of other musicians. Second it was the fact that there was not much to write about Sandra. She had no scandals, no affairs, no drug problems. The yellow press had to make up their own stories and they did. A bad stomach was already a reason to make a headline that all the stress and stardom had runied Sandra’s health and that she was an unlucky puppet of her boyfriend/husband Michael Cretu.
It was often written that Michael pulled all the strings, that he decided for her what music was to be recorded, even what she was to wear and how she had to look.
Of course, this was all nonsense and contained not a single truth in it.
Also Sandra was often mixed up and compared with Modern Talking, who also come from Germany and who also started their career in 1985. But that is about all they have in common. Modern Talking were doing dance music and some people say they just sold the same song all over again, because all there musc sounded so much alike. Sandra, however, was doing pop music, she recorded dance songs as well as ballads, she changed her style often, you can hardly find two songs that sound much alike. And you can still listen to her music after so many years, without getting tired of it - a clear sign that it is not just "fast food music".
The fact that Sandra was and still is a normal, hard working woman with principles and a strong will, didn’t fit in the usual schemes for big stars. Stars had to be excentric, they had to have weaknesses and scandals that the press could write about. Sandra just did her job and did it extremely successful without any excesses and it drove her critics nearly insane.
Sandra herself was first shocked by the negative feedback. She obviously needed some time to find the right way to handle it and she finally found it by shooting back, being ironical and sarcastical. On many occasions she proved that she is an intelligent, ready-witted woman who can strike back.
Also Michael Cretu made a lot of clear statements in the direction of critics but obviously they were never clever enough to just shut up.
When Sandra was awarded with the “Golden Europe” in 1992, she said with a smug smile and a slightly triumphant tone in her voice: “In 1985, when ‘Maria Magdalena’ was a huge success, some people said that this will be a one hit wonder. Well… anyway, now I’m very glad to receive this award and I want to thank my fans for the following 18 hits.”
Her critics probably still aren’t able to understand how all this could happen. And maybe they never will but that is their problem.
© S.F.C., (the worldwide)SANDRA Fan Connection 1989...1998 » www.sandranet.com «