Sandra Ann Lauer
May 18, 1962, Saarbrücken, Germany
Sandra Ann Lauer professionally known as "Sandra", is a popular German singer/songwriter, currently living in Ibiza (Spain). After enjoying some success as lead singer of the disco trio Arabesque, Sandra began performing under her solo name in 1984. She can also be heard on her husband Michael Cretu's project Enigma. They have two sons (twins), Nikita and Sebastian, born July 6, 1995. Sandra and Michael divorced in November 2007, citing 'personal and professional differences'.
Other members of her team include Hubert Kemmler (singer and song writer aka Hubert Kah), Markus Löhr, Klaus Hirschburger, Armand Volker, Frank Peterson, Andy Jonas (singer) and Jens Gad (song writer, co-producer)..
Sandra Ann Lauer was born on May 18th, 1962 in the German town of Saarbrücken, close to the French border. Sandra’s father, Robert Lauer is French and her mother, Karin Lauer is German. Sandra also had an older brother, Gaston (who died in 1995), who was paraplegic.
Her father owned a wine shop in Saarbrücken and her mother worked in a shoe shop. Sandra showed an early interest in music and dancing. She started to learn classical ballet at age five and continued lessons for 10 years. At the age of 10, she received a guitar and took lessons from a school teacher on her street.
In 1975 at the age of 13, Sandra was visiting a competition in Saarbrücken, called "Young Star Festival", where new talents for the music industry were scouted. She was not actually in the competition, but was in the audience. When all the nominees finished their parts and the jury was discussing the results, she told her mother that she had to go to the bathroom, stood up, walked onto the stage, persuaded the DJ to put on the German cover version of a song from Olivia Newton-John, grabbed the microphone and started singing. Aided by newfound recognition, she released the single "Andy Mein Freund", a song about a pet dog. The single, however, performed poorly on the charts and she withdrew from the music scene for a few years.
Arabesque was a disco group consisting of Michaela Rose and Jasmine Vetter. Sandra joined the band and they recorded their second album with Sandra on lead vocals at "Europasound Studios" in Offenbach. The studio was owned by famous producer Frank Farian, creator of Boney M, and later Milli Vanilli. One of the musicians there was a keyboardist called Michael Cretu. Sandra and Michael found that they shared the same birthday, albeit five years apart, and became good friends.
With Arabesque a new period in Sandra’s life began. For the first time, she was away from her family, appearing on stage and TV in foreign countries, giving interviews, singing at concerts and performing promotion dates. Arabesque became successful, and by Sandra's sixteenth birthday she was a star.
Arabesque were particularly popular in Japan, and their outrageous, sometimes daring costumes, dance routines and cheerful music suggested ABBA and Boney M. They enjoyed success in several other countries and scored the top 10 hit "Marigot Bay" 1981 in Germany. After nine studio albums, however, differences in musical interests and the end of disco's popularity signalled the group's final breakup.
Sandra achieved a palpable international success in 1985, owing to her chart-hitting single "(I'll Never Be) Maria Magdalena". This song topped the charts in 21 countries worldwide, and reached the Top 10 in a further five countries. Her first album, The Long Play (1985), reached number 12 in her home country of Germany. It remained in the German Top 20 for 16 weeks, while in Sweden "Maria Magdalena" spent four weeks at number one position. The follow-up single "In the Heat of the Night" continued her success all over Europe and internationally, reaching number two in Germany and the Top 5 in France. At that time Sandra was acclaimed the "pop princess" and her posters soon found themselves on the walls of many teenagers' rooms. The song also earned Sandra second place at the Tokyo Music Festival in Japan, later in 1986. "Little Girl" became the third single with the music video being filmed in Venice.
On January 7, 1988, Sandra married Michael Cretu and relocated from Munich to the Spanish island of Ibiza. In the same year they worked on Sandra's new material.
In 1988 Sandra and Michael released Into a Secret Land, moving away somewhat from electro-pop to a more mysterious and seductive sound. Album delivered four hit singles. The first single "Heaven Can Wait" became another Top 10 smash hit in France and number 12 hit in Germany, accompanied by a video featuring Sandra dancing and singing on a Mediterranean beach. The title track, "Secret Land", a cover version of the track "Trenchcoat Man" by the short-lived German synth pop project Fabrique, entered the German Top 10. The third single "We'll Be Together" was another German Top 10 hit. "We'll Be Together" along with "When the Rain Doesn't Come" (from 1992's Close to Seven album) are the only songs written or co-written by Sandra prior to the release of her album The Wheel of Time in 2002. "Around My Heart", the fourth single peaked at number 11 in Germany
In 1995, while pregnant with twins, Sandra recorded and released Fading Shades. The album saw a new writer/producer Jens Gad working alongside Michael. The album featured a powerful cover version of "Nights in White Satin" by The Moody Blues. The song went to number one in Israel and entered the Top 20 in Finland and Australia. The music video showed only close ups of Sandra's face as she was heavily pregnant at the time. She even had to sit during the recording sessions of the album. Again Andy "Angel" Hart performed all the male vocals on the album. The second single release was "Won't Run Away" which didn't make any impact on music charts.
On July 6, 1995, she gave birth to twin sons Nikita and Sebastian in a Munich hospital through Caesarean section. Sandra decided to put her career on hold to raise her children.
The highly anticipated studio album, The Art of Love was released in February 2007, entering the 16th position on the German charts. For the first time, Michael Cretu didn't work as a producer for the album, as he was reportedly busy producing his new Enigma album A Posteriori. Sandra's management first tried to find producers from the United Kingdom, but Sandra didn't like the idea of leaving her family for a long period of time. Finally, Sandra contacted Michael Cretu's "right hand", Jens Gad, who produced the entire album.
In November 2007 news came out that Sandra and Michael got divorced, citing "personal and professional differences". Both Sandra and Michael have since been reported to be in new relationships.
A new Sandra album, entitled Back to Life, was released on 27 March 2009. Sandra revealed it was going to be an up-tempo, pop album. The first single, "In a Heartbeat" was released on 6 March. The album was recorded in New York and while working on it, Sandra was collaborating with Thomas Anders (famous for his work with Modern Talking) and Toby Gad (famous for his work with Beyoncé Knowles and Fergie).
In 2009, Sandra is going to marry her boyfriend, Olaf Menges.
Sandra is a health food lover and is a vegetarian. She likes sport and lives an active lifestyle. She's also known for her involvment in animal rights and nature protection.