Frank Farian  

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Frank Farian (1941 – 2024) was a German singer and record producer who founded Boney M., No Mercy, and Milli Vanilli.

He frequently created vocal groups in which the visually featured members merely lip-synced to songs sung by session singers.

Over the course of his career, Farian sold over 850 million records and earned 800 gold and platinum certifications.

"Daddy Cool" (1976) is among his best-known songs but his first hit, "Baby Do You Wanna Bump" (1975), was actually a ripoff from Prince Buster's song "Al Capone" (1964).


Early life

Farian was born Franz Reuther in Kirn on 18 July 1941.

He and two siblings were raised by his mother; his father was killed in World War II before his birth.

He trained as a cook before discovering rock and roll, renaming himself Frank Farian, and forming a band called Frankie Boys Schatten. They released their first single, "Shouting Ghost", in 1964; it flopped.


In April 1967, he released a cover of Otis Redding's "Mr. Pitiful" under the name "Frankie Farian". After signing a recording contract as a solo performer, he moved into pop and appeared on the TV programme Hitparade. In 1976, Farian's German-language cover of Dickey Lee's "Rocky" stayed at No. 1 for four weeks and received gold certification. His 1973 single "Was kann schöner sein?", a German language cover of the Lynsey de Paul/Ron Roker song "When you've Gotta Go", was listed as one of the Top 100 all time "Schlagerlieder" by German magazine "Popkultur".

Boney M.

In late 1974, he recorded "Baby Do You Wanna Bump" (a remake of Prince Buster's song "Al Capone" from 1964), released in 1976 as a single and on the album Take the Heat off Me under the pseudonym Boney M. He recruited a line-up which included vocalists Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett along with a front-man, Bobby Farrell, and a female dancer, Maizie Williams. Under the name Boney M., he achieved his biggest success in Europe as well as world-wide with songs including "Daddy Cool", "Rivers of Babylon", "Rasputin" and a remake of "Mary's Boy Child".

Far Corporation

Farian also started the supergroup Far Corporation (named after the first syllable of his last name), which featured Steve Lukather, David Paich, Bobby Kimball, Simon Phillips (all from Toto fame), and Robin McAuley. Far Corporation were the first act to chart with a cover version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven"; their cover was a top 10 hit in the UK, reaching number 8 in October 1985.

Meat Loaf

In 1986, Farian produced and mixed the Meat Loaf album Blind Before I Stop. He also sang backing vocals on the album's lead single, "Rock 'n' Roll Mercenaries", which was credited to Meat Loaf featuring John Parr.

Milli Vanilli

On 14 November 1990, Farian confessed to orchestrating the events leading to the Milli Vanilli scandal. As a producer, he assembled a group of session musicians and fronted it with physically attractive dancers Robert Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan. Following a 1989 performance where a backing track error first revealed the singers had been lip-syncing, Farian later confirmed to the press that others had sung on the albums.

La Bouche, Le Click, Eruption, No Mercy

Following the Milli Vanilli controversy, Farian developed similar Eurodance groups La Bouche and Le Click. He also produced the 1997 version of "Tic, Tic Tac" by Chilli Feat. Carrapicho.

Some other groups and solo acts Farian was involved with are Eruption (whom he managed in 1977), singer Precious Wilson, and Latin pop band No Mercy based in Germany.

Other activities

In 2006, Farian was credited as co-writing the song "Doin' Fine" with British producers Nathan Thomas and Carl M. Cox. (Other writers involved in the song were Chris Rudall, Baz Qureshi, Peter Wilson, Chris Richards, and George Reyam.) Described as paying tribute to the 'sound' of Boney M., the song was essentially a new composition featuring the string arrangement from Boney M.'s 1976 number one hit "Daddy Cool". It was recorded by Australian pop singer Peter Wilson.

Personal life

Farian resided in Miami, Florida in the United States. He had three daughters, with his former wife and his long-time partner, Chinya Onyewenjo, and a son. His daughter Yanina sang with him in 2021 on a cover of "Cherish" by Kool & the Gang.

Farian died in Miami in January 2024 at the age of 82.


Studio albums

  • So ein Tag (1971)
  • So muß Liebe sein (1973)
  • Rocky (1976)
  • Division One (1985)
  • Solitude (1994)


  • Star Discothek (1978)
  • The Hit Man – The Best of 25 Years (1994)
  • The Hit Collection – The Best of 25 Years (1994)
  • The Hit Man II (2000)
  • Summer Hits (2001)
  • Dieter Thomas Heck präsentiert: 40 Jahre ZDF Hitparade (2009)
  • Produced by Frank Farian (2009)


Albums produced (selection)

Boney M.

Template:See also

  • Help! Help! (1977)
Meat Loaf
Milli Vanilli

Template:See also

La Bouche
  • Sweet Dreams (1995) (No. 2 Finland, No. 2 Switzerland, No. 10 Australia)
No Mercy
  • My Promise (1996) (No. 4 Australia, No. 3 Netherlands)
  • Eruption, also released as I Can't Stand the Rain (1977)
  • Leave a Light (1979)
Precious Wilson
  • On the Race Track (1980)
  • All Coloured in Love (1982)
  • Funky Fingers (1983)

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Frank Farian" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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