Frank Farian, the founder of musical groups Milli Vanilli and Boney M. — both iconic for different reasons — has died.
The German singer, songwriter, and producer’s family confirmed his passing Tuesday … saying Frank died peacefully at his Miami apartment.
His death comes 2 years after he underwent life-saving heart valve replacement surgery — he got a pig heart valve inserted in his chest, because his own had shrunk with age.
In his last interview in November 2023, he gushed his new heart valve was working wonderfully and told German newspaper Bild, he was grateful he had a “good pig in me.”
Despite his claims of good health, contrasting reports said his condition had deteriorated after the procedure — he’d lost a lot of weight and had to use a wheelchair and breathing equipment due to lung issues.
Frank was born Franz Reuther in western Germany in 1941 … kicking things off in the music industry as a solo artist while also training to be a chef.
He made his first big splash in the music world in 1976 … when he founded the disco vocal group Boney M.
“Daddy Cool,” “Rasputin,” and “Mary’s Boy Child” were just a few hits from the group comprised of Marcia Barrett, Liz Mitchell, Maizie Williams and Bobby Farrell.
His most dubious move, though, came in the late ’80s … Frank founded the R&B pop duo Milli Vanilli. He hired Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus as the eye candy, while he enlisted other performers to do the actual singing on hits like “Blame It On The Rain” and “Girl You Know It’s True.”
The group would actually win the Grammy for Best New Artist before the whole lip-synching sham came crashing down during a “live” performance. The Recording Academy took back their Grammy.
Frank also worked with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Meat Loaf … and reportedly sold an estimated 800 million records worldwide.