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Daniel Küblböck, a famous openly gay German pop-singer, is thought to have jumped off of a AIDA Cruise ship this weekend, possibly to his death. AIDA Cruises determined Küblböck was missing on Sunday morning after a cabin check and loudspeaker announcements from the cruise line. AIDA and Canadian authorities are searching the area where Küblböck is thought to have jumped ship. So far, he hasn’t been found.
His possible suicide is especially poignant considering that today is World Suicide Prevention Day.
Though the ship was traveling from the northern German town of Hamburg to New York, Küblböck is thought to have jumped from the fifth deck of his ship about 115 miles from the coast of St. John’s, a city on the Canadian island of Newfoundland.
The Sun tabloid also wrote that Küblböck wrote on the page of his official Facebook fanclub last month that as a child he’d endured “months of bullying” that shook “deeply in my soul,” adding, “Dear fans. Unfortunately, I still do not feel better mentally and physically. I have yet to cope with this pain of the past months.”
Küblböck was most famous for coming in third on the first season of the German reality singing competition Pop Idol in 2002. He also appeared in the reality TV survival competition I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2004, the German version of Big Brother in 2005 and the German version of the dancing competition Let’s Dance in 2015.
During this time, Küblböck maintained a somewhat androgynous appearance with long hair, a clean-cut face and high-pitched singing. But in 2006, he changed his public appearance with shorter hair, facial scruff and a deeper voice. He has released eight albums in total.
On daylight on Sunday, the Canadian Coast Guard launched a search for Küblböck with a helicopter, a reconnaissance aircraft and two ships. AIDA also sent its ship, Aidaluna, and another cruise ship, the MS Zuiderdam from the Holland America Line, to help with the search, but so far Küblböck hasn’t been found.
A 2018 Human Rights Campaign survey reported that 70% of all LGBTQ youths had been physically or verbally harassed at school because of their LGBTQ identity. A 2008 Yale University study concluded that bullying victims are two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline.