Frank Farian, the producer behind both Boney M and Milli Vanilli, has died at the age of 82, his representatives have confirmed.
He began his musical career as a singer, adopting the Boney M name for himself in the mid-’70s, but it was when he recruited a full line-up of dancers and vocalists that the band when stratospheric. The likes of Daddy Cool, Rivers of Babylon, Rasputin and Mary’s Boy Child were huge hits, though it wasn’t actually frontman Bobby Farrell who was singing on the recordings - it was Farian.
Years later, Farian would adopt a similar method with Milli Vanilli, which comprised dancers Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan. The duo won the Best New Artist Grammy in 1990, but this was revoked when it was confirmed that it wasn’t them singing on their records, and that they lip-synced during performances.
Farian will also be remembered for founding a supergroup, Far Corporation, which featured the likes of Steve Lukather and David Paich. Their cover of Led Zeppelin’s Stariway To Heaven was a top 10 hit in the UK in 1985.
It’s believed that Farian sold over 850 million records and earned 800 gold and platinum discs during the course of his career, making him one of the most successful pop producer of all time.
A statement on his Facebook page begins: “We are very sad to announce the passing of the legendary music producer Frank Farian, who left us today at the age of 82. Frank is mostly known as founder/producer of Boney M, Eruption, Far Corporation, Milli Vanilli, No Mercy and La Bouche and is the most succesful German music producer ever.”