Nico was an enigmatic figure who appeared on the music scene in the late 1960s. She was born Christa Päffgen in Cologne in 1938 and was brought up in difficult circumstances in war-torn Germany. Her striking features and statuesque demeanour helped her to become a successful model in the 1950s and the social circles she moved in brought her to the attention of film director Federico Fellini. Fellini asked her to appear in his 1960 film 'La Dolce Vita' and she subsequently went on to appear in Andy Warhol's 1966 art house movie 'Chelsea Girls'. Warhol began managing The Velvet Underground and asked Päffgen to join them and perform as a 'chanteuse'. The idea of Päffgen (who now went by the name of Nico) joining the band was not met with enthusiasm by group members. Päffgen, whose musical talents were fairly limited, had a polarising personality which led to conflicts within the band. She held some controversial views on race and was openly anti-semitic, often causing offence to people who she met during her career. Päffgen eventually left The Velvet Underground and launched herself as a solo artist. Despite experiencing difficulties singing in tune (due to being partially deaf) she went on to become an iconic figure in the music business and has been cited by many significant musicians as being influential to their work. She died in 1988 as a result of injuries sustained in a bicycle accident.