He rose to prominence as the lead singer of the German metal band Scorpions, which became known for the hit song "Rock You Like a Hurricane."
He joined the Scorpions a year after their creation and had a strong tenor voice that worked well with the heavy metal sound the founders were going for.
He and Rudolf Schenker are the only members of the Scorpions that have appeared on every one of the band's albums.
He married Gabi Meine in 1976. The couple has one son, Christian.
He performed at the demolition of the Berlin Wall with Scorpions' guitarist Matthias Jabs.