Producer Behind Boney M and Milli Vanilli Dies, Aged 82

( – Behind every famous musician is a producer who puts in the hard work to help them succeed. They often don’t get the glory, but they’re there in the background doing what they do best. Sadly, there’s one less in the world today. Frank Farian, who regularly saw success on the pop charts in the 1980s and 1990s, recently passed away.

A spokesperson for Farian’s family, Philip Kallrath, announced the producer’s death. He passed away on Tuesday, January 23, at the age of 82, at his home in Miami. While many might not recognize the name, they will certainly recognize the names of the musicians he produced.

Though he started out as a performer himself, Farian eventually found his home as a producer. One of his claims to fame is the R&B music act from Germany known as Milli Vanilli. The duo, made up of Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan, was the brainchild of the producer. Milli Vanilli wowed audiences with their ability to sing and dance upbeat numbers at the same time—until it was revealed they weren’t really singing at all.

In 1990, the scandal erupted, and Farian, who was born Franz Reuther, confessed that the pair was lip synching and hadn’t sung any of the songs on their records. It was such a serious issue that the Grammy Award they won in 1990 for Best New Artist was eventually revoked. Farian waved off the scandal, saying it was an “open secret” and the duo was a “project.” In an episode of VH1’s “Behind the Music,” a member of Milli Vanilli’s management team, Todd Headlee, said instead of a Grammy, they should’ve won an Oscar.

Farian was also the brainchild behind a disco group, Boney M., which saw a measure of success in Germany with hits like “Rasputin,” “Rivers of Babylon,” and “Daddy Cool.”

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