The Rise of Hunky Heinz: The Idols Winner

The Rise of Hunky Heinz: The Idols Winner

Heinz Carl Heinrich Winckler, born on March 22, 1978, emerged as a prominent figure in South African music and entertainment. As the eldest of three siblings hailing from Stellenbosch, South Africa, Winckler’s journey to fame began with a path seemingly divergent from the spotlight: studying law at Stellenbosch University.

Hunky Heinz

Birth name Heinz Carl Heinrich Winckler
Born 22 March 1978 (age 46)
Origin Stellenbosch, Cape Province, South Africa
Occupation(s) Singer
Instrument(s) Singing, guitar
Years active 2002–present

However, fate had a different plan for him. In June 2002, Winckler seized the opportunity of a lifetime by participating in the inaugural season of South African Idols, a local rendition of the globally acclaimed Pop Idol franchise. Throughout the competition, Winckler’s undeniable talent and charm captured the hearts of audiences nationwide, earning him the affectionate moniker “Hunky Heinz” due to his striking appearance.

Against all odds, Winckler emerged victorious, clinching the title of the first South African Idol. This triumph marked a pivotal moment in his life, prompting him to make a life-altering decision: to set aside his legal aspirations and wholeheartedly pursue a career in music.



  • Idols: The Album (2002)
  • One Step Closer (November 2002)
  • Come Alive (September 2004)
  • Moment Of Truth (September 2006)
  • Ek kan weer in liefde glo (October 2009)
  • 24/7/365 (2011)
  • Jy’s bonatuurlik (2014)


  • Once in a Lifetime (June 2002)
  • Next Stop Happiness (March 2004)
  • One Step Closer
  • The Way It Is
  • Can’t Lose With You
  • Drowning Me
  • Only For You
  • Thank You
  • Another Day
  • Love’s Supposed To Be
  • Who You Really Are (2011, for the Eurovision contest)

Songs performed on Idols

  • Audition: “I’m a Believer”, by Smash Mouth
  • Top 50: “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)”, by Train
  • Top 11: “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing”, by Aerosmith
  • Top 8: “Higher”, by Creed
  • Top 6: “Shallow Waters”, by Just Jinger
  • Top 4: “Every Breath You Take”, by The Police
  • Top 4: “Soledad”, by Westlife
  • Finale: “Once in a Lifetime” (original song); Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me), by Train; Soledad, by Westlife


Post-Idols, Winckler’s star continued to rise as he embarked on a musical journey filled with milestones and achievements. With his captivating voice and magnetic stage presence, he captivated audiences across South Africa and beyond, solidifying his status as a bona fide music sensation.

Beyond his success as a singer, Winckler’s versatility shone through as he ventured into the realm of acting, showcasing his talent in various theatrical productions.

From his humble beginnings in Stellenbosch to the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry, Heinz Carl Heinrich Winckler’s story is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the pursuit of one’s dreams.

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