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Polo Hofer Tributes pour in for Swiss pop music pioneer

Tributes have been pouring in following the death of Swiss pop star, Polo Hofer. The story and his importance for German-speaking Switzerland feature in many Swiss newspapers.

The singer, who founded the first rock band (Rumpelstilz) to sing in dialect, died from lung cancer at his home in Oberhofen on lake Thun. 

Rumpelstilz rocketed to the top of the charts with their song, “Kiosk”. Hofer went on to form the Schmetterband, which also scored a huge chart success with “Alperose” in 1985. In 2008, the song was voted the biggest Swiss hit of all time.

Hofer had a turbulent relationship with his father, who once had him arrested to stop him performing. The singer also spent time in prison after stealing instruments from fellow musicians. 

He lived life in the fast lane. Alcohol and drugs were his lifelong companions, and he campaigned for the legalisation of cannabis. He announced that he had incurable cancer in August 2016, and only appeared in public again a year later on the occasion of the inauguration of a life-sized Polo Hofer statue. 

He wrote a farewell Twitter message shortly before his death. “I say goodbye everybody, it was nice. On Saturday, July 22, shortly before midnight I lived my last hours and I am happy to go to sleep at home.” (SRF/swissinfo.ch) 

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