German music producer, Frank Farian, the man behind kitsch sensations Boney M and Milli Vanilli, has died at the age of 82, his family said today.
The hitmaker, who sold more than 800 million records over several decades working with different artistes, passed away at his home in Miami.
Born Franz Reuther, Farian started his career as a solo musician, scoring a number one at home in West Germany in 1976 with a cover of country hit “Rocky”.
Farian subsequently found international success with disco outfit Boney M, devising the band’s name and hiring the lineup.
With hits such as “Rivers of Babylon”, “Daddy Cool”, and “Rasputin”, the group went on to sell 150 million records.
Farian caused a scandal with Milli Vanilli, an R&B music act packaged by the producer and fronted by lip-syncing dancers Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus.
The duo won a Grammy for best new artist in 1990 but saw the award revoked when it was revealed they did not perform their own songs.
The drama has been dramatised in the recent film “Girl You Know It’s True”, named for one of Milli Vanilli’s hits.
Over his career, Farian also collaborated with musicians such as Stevie Wonder, Meat Loaf, and Terence Trent D’Arby.