Milli Vanilli creator Frank Farian
Image © Getty

Frank Farian, the pop Svengali behind Milli Vanilli and Boney M, dies aged 82

The controversial German music producer, singer and songwriter, Frank Farian, has died at the age of 82. The impresario who masterminded the careers of Milli Vanilli and Boney M, passed away at his home in Miami it has been announced.

“Mr German Hit”

Dubbed “Mr German Hit”, Farian first enjoyed notable success with Boney M, the eurodisco collective he created in 1976 which featured vocalists Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett alongside frontman, Bobby Farrell.

Boney M. Rivers of Babylon 1978 single

Charting with hit songs such as Daddy Cool, Rasputin and Rivers Of Babylon, Farian would record the vocals in the studio and have Farrell perform the tracks live on stage.

Farian infamously orchestrated a similar move with Milli Vanilli’s Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus. The pair were picked by Farian and the duo’s infectious hitsGirl You Know It’s True, Blame It On The Rain, Baby Don’t Forget My Number and Girl I’m Gonna Miss You topped charts around the world.

However, the Milli Vanilli success story dramatically imploded when it was revealed that the group was lip-syncing. The duo’s 1990 Grammy Award for Best New Artist was revoked, and lawsuits were filed.

Pop Svengali

Farian would return in the 1990s, co-producing another euro dance hit with German-American outfit La Bouche. While Be My Lover was a Top 10 hit around mainland Europe, it would only peak at No.25 in the UK. He has also worked with Meat Loaf and Latin pop band No Mercy over the course of his career.

Though no cause of death has been announced, Farian had received a heart valve transplant in 2022.

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