b. Franz Reuther, 18 July 1941, Kirn, Germany. Farian created two of the world’s bestselling pop groups, Boney M and Milli Vanilli. His father was killed in World War II and Farian grew up in the 50s listening to US and UK pop music. His first group was named after the Shadows but by the mid-60s he was a convert to soul music, leading a band devoted to performing cover versions of US hits. In the early 70s he switched to ballad singing for the Hansa-Ariola label. Among his successes were ‘Dana My Love’ (1972) and ‘Rocky’ which was number 1 in Germany in 1976. The same year, Farian joined the disco boom by writing and producing with session singers, ‘Baby Do Ya Wanna Bump?’. The track’s success in the Netherlands led Farian to form a recording and touring group which went on to notch up over a dozen European and UK hits during the next five years. During the late 70s, he also produced a version of Ann Peebles’ ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’ and other hits by the disco group Eruption. Farian’s lack of US success with Boney M was rectified by his next bestselling act. In his studio near Munich during 1987, he produced tracks under the name Milli Vanilli, recruiting Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan to front the group on live gigs. The group had number 1 hits in America with its first three singles in 1989 and had two bestselling albums. But Milli Vanilli’s career ended suddenly when Farian admitted that Pilatus and Morvan had not sung on the band’s records. He re-launched the group in 1991 as the Real Milli Vanilli, using Brad Howell, Johnny Davis and Charles Shaw, the singers from the original studio sessions.
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