Christa Päffgen (16 October 1938 – 18 July 1988), known by her stage name Nico, was a German singer, songwriter, musician, model, and actress. She had roles in several films, including Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960) and Andy Warhol’s Chelsea Girls (1966).
With the insistence of Warhol, she recorded vocals for three songs of the Velvet Underground’s debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967). At the same time, she started a solo career and released Chelsea Girl. Nico’s friend Jim Morrison suggested her to start writing her own material. She then composed songs on an harmonium, a non-traditional rock instrument: John Cale became her musical arranger and produced The Marble Index, Desertshore, The End... and other subsequent albums.
In the 1980s, she toured extensively in Europe, and in Japan and took a musical departure, introducing influences of egyptian music in her live repertoire. After a last concert in Berlin in June 1988, she went on holidays in Ibiza to rest but died after having a stroke while bicycling.