Today in History (1988): Warhol Superstar Nico passes away due to a cycling accident


Here's a tribute to---and photo gallery of---model, actress, musician, Warhol Superstar and 60's icon Nico.

Photo via curiexdetrucs

Many celebrities try to do the triple threat routine nowadays as actors, musicians, dancers, or perhaps tv show hosts all at the same time. There are also those who try their luck at acting, do a little modeling, and dabble in the arts. But before all those actors started singing and dancing on screen, there was a beautiful, statuesque, and talented lady from the 60’s who was seemingly capable of conquering any endeavor she chose—-Nico.

Born Christa Paffgen in Cologne, Germany on October 16, 1938, Nico was a fashion model, singer-songwriter, composer, musician, and actress who primarily rose to fame as one of Andy Warhol’s Superstars.

She was offered modeling jobs while still working as a salesperson for a department store in Berlin.

Photos by Jeanloup Sieff via smironne
At 16 she was discovered by photographer Herbert Tobias, who christened her with the name ’Nico’ after his ex-boyfried, filmmaker Nikos Papatakis.
Photos by Herbert Tobias via smironne

Soon enough she moved to Paris and started modeling for Vogue, Elle, and other fashion magazines.

Photos via smironne

Nico took acting classes in New York in 1960. She landed jobs in tv commercials, which eventually led to her being casted in several films, including La Temptesta, (1958), La Dolce Vita, (1959) and Strip-Tease, (1963), in which she held the leading role.

Photos via refinery and tumblr

Nico met Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones in 1965 and recorded her first single, “I’m Not Sayin.” She met Bob Dylan in Paris that summer, who played the song ”I’ll Keep It with Mine” for her. Nico recorded the same song as part of Chelsea Girl, her first album which was released in 1967. Incidentally, Chelsea Girls is the title of one of Andy Warhol’s experimental films, where Nico plays herself.

Photo via ifsociety

When Andy Warhol began managing New-York based rock band The Velvet Underground, he suggested for Nico to become their ’chanteuse.’ Both parties agreed and Nico lent her voice to four of the songs in the band’s debut release, The Velvet Underground & Nico.

Photos via Coca-Cola Art, goundzero and kitchensnark

After Chelsea Girl, Nico recorded five more albums: The Marble Index, Desertshore, The End, Drama of Exile, and Camera Obscura. These solo albums were released from 1969 through 1985.

Photo via smironne

Nico had an array of well-known lovers, some of which were Bob Dylan, Jim Morrisson, Iggy Pop, Jackson Browne, and French-Swiss actor Alain Delon, who fathered her only son, Ari. She lived like a nomad, relocating to different cities in Europe and in America throughout her lifetime.

Photo via tumblr

On this same day in 1988, while on holiday with his son Ari in Ibiza, Nico had a minor heart attack while riding a bicycle. She hit her head and died from a cerebral hemorrhage.

With a wandering streak and a string of opportunities at her beck and call, Nico was never remembered as a pleasant, accommodating person but rather spoiled, somewhat arrogant and a racist. Nonetheless, she was extremely talented, the first ’superstar’ who did the model-actress-musician stint and breezed through it in flying colors, and with effortless style.

Information for this article was sourced from Wikepedia, Barnflakes and The Guardian.

Like this article? Check out more stories from our Today in History and Throwback Thursday series.

You might also like:

Meet Andy Warhol's Superstars

Nico and Andy Warhol Dressed as Batman and Robin

written by jillytanrad on 2013-07-18 in #lifestyle #today-in-history #the-velvet-underground #analogue-photography #history #films #andy-warhol #music #art #tributes #nico #vintage


  1. raygun
    raygun ·

    Thanks!! Nice article..

  2. jillytanrad
    jillytanrad ·

    Thanks @raygun!

  3. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    I love Velvet Underground but no matter how much I tried, I could never get into The Velvet Underground & Nico as much as a lot of people. I think its too chaotic for me to handle! Or maybe I'm just not cool enough! haha

    Great article; very informative!

  4. roxyvonschlotterstein
    roxyvonschlotterstein ·

    I think exactly the same.

More Interesting Articles

  • The Cure Covers The Beatles' 'Hello, Goodbye'

    written by chooolss on 2014-09-11 in #lifestyle
    The Cure Covers The Beatles' 'Hello, Goodbye'

    A tribute album to Sir Paul McCartney is due in November. As a preview, here's a video of The Cure and McCartney's son James performing one of The Beatles' classic tunes, "Hello, Goodbye!"

  • Then and Now: Famous Photos Reimagined as Selfies

    written by cheeo on 2014-06-05 in #lifestyle
    Then and Now: Famous Photos Reimagined as Selfies

    Iconic photos from the past are hard to pass by. They just have this certain look and feel to them that made them memorable but an ad campaign for a newspaper in Cape Town, South Africa put a modern twist on some of them. Here’s a clue – selfies.

  • How to Break the Ice with the Lomo'Instant

    written by antoniocastello on 2014-11-20 in #lifestyle
    How to Break the Ice with the Lomo'Instant

    New York is full of interesting people. Everywhere you look you, will find good-looking, smart, and powerful characters; models, actresses, entrepreneurs, managers, artists. Because of this sometimes it can be a little intimidating for a regular guy in the Big Apple to step up, talk to the girl you like, or make new friends. So here are a few tips, courtesy of the Lomo'Instant, that will help you to break the ice.

  • Shop News

    Colorsplash your World!

    Colorsplash your World!

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • Ossian Brown's 'Haunted Air'

    written by chooolss on 2014-07-02 in #lifestyle
    Ossian Brown's 'Haunted Air'

    We know summer has just arrived and we're still a few months away from the holiday we're about to feature here, but allow us to give you the chills through this macabre series of vintage Halloween photographs collated by artist and musician Ossian Brown.

  • A Salute to the Masters: Buraco (A Tribute to Alfred Eisenstaedt)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-09-21 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Buraco (A Tribute to Alfred Eisenstaedt)

    Alfred Eisenstaedt was one of Life Magazine's greatest photographers, known for his ability to immortalize the storytelling moment of many public events in history. To write this tribute to him, I chose a subject that he photographed in different places and times: card players in public places. The photos in this article were taken at the Patronal Feast of my city Como, during a series of buraco's lessons held by a local card players club.

  • A Salute to the Masters: A Day at the Races (A Tribute to Bernard Cahier)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-07-26 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: A Day at the Races (A Tribute to Bernard Cahier)

    This article is a tribute to the photojournalist Bernard Cahier, the greatest Formula 1 photographer known as the "Cartier-Bresson of Motor Racing" for his great ability in capturing the right moment. Here, I'll feature a series of photos that I took at the Monza Grand Prix with a timeless black and white film! Take a look after the jump!

  • Shop News

    The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit opens up a new, creative photographic domain!

    The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit opens up a new, creative photographic domain!

    Satisfy your hunger for creative snap-shooting with this lens package made especially for Micro 4/3 digital cameras! Don't miss the 20% discount!

  • Coloring Outside the Lines with LomoAmigo Tim Kerr

    written by jacobs on 2015-02-16 in #people #lomoamigos
    Coloring Outside the Lines with LomoAmigo Tim Kerr

    We recently had the great opportunity to interview our latest LomoAmigo, Tim Kerr. While his repertoire stretches back to the late 1970's and includes that of musician, artist, painter, photographer, skater and many other things, he just prefers Tim! We gave him a La Sardina DIY, which he not only added his own style to, but shot some excellent photos with as well. Rife with candid and thoughtful answers, we expect everyone will glean a nugget of wisdom and leave with a smile.

  • LomoAmigo Galleries: Asher Moss shoots with the Diana F+ (NSFW)

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2014-05-28 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo Galleries: Asher Moss shoots with the Diana F+ (NSFW)

    Nostalgia, intimacy, and urgent yet understated sensuality – are elements that are evidently part of Asher Moss’ work. Moss’ “Models in the Morning” series caught the attention of many, including the folks here at Lomography. The resolution: let Moss try out a few Lomography cameras, and wait for the visual intimacy to begin. In this first segment of LomoAmigo Galleries featuring Asher Moss, we present to you the photographer’s shots using the Diana F+.

  • December 14th Advent Offer: Take Advantage of our Festive 3 For 2 Film Deals (Online Code: 3FOR2HOLIDAYFILM)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-14 in #news
    December 14th Advent Offer: Take Advantage of our Festive 3 For 2 Film Deals  (Online Code: 3FOR2HOLIDAYFILM)

    Seeing that we love to spread the cheer around here, we're giving you another chance to load up on our awesome film with today's Advent deal! Choose a classy black and white film, like our Lady Grey, or get creative and colorful with one of our Redscale films. We're certain that no matter what you choose, you'll have a great time making memories with tons of lovely analogue photos this year!

  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-05-02 in #gear #lifestyle
    Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    Some people say instant photos bring about a feeling of nostalgia. Although I often use the Lomo'Instant Camera with different crazy accessories such as the Splitzer and color gels, I have to agree there is something about it — dreamy vignettes maybe? — that always makes me want to go back in time and experience it all over again. In the name of analogue photography and good old memories, we passed by some classic spots in Vienna and took one shot after the other. Take a closer look at our gallery.

  • Awesome Albums: Tri-X by Ccwu

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-05-22 in #world #lifestyle
    Awesome Albums: Tri-X by Ccwu

    In this stunning collection, night lights are a form of movement.

  • C.S. Muncy Gets Colorful with the LomoChrome Turquoise

    written by givesmehell on 2015-05-22 in #gear #reviews
    C.S. Muncy Gets Colorful with the LomoChrome Turquoise

    C.S Muncy is a New York City-based freelance photojournalist and a fellow LomoAmigo who tested and reviewed the LomoChrome Turquoise film. The rolls of film were put to good use; the resulting shots were simply stunning.