AKA Franz Reuther
Birthplace: Kirn, Germany
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Music Producer
Executive summary: Producer behind Milli Vanilli, Boney M
Franz Farian was the mind behind platinum-selling disco group Boney M.. Comprised of four singers from the West Indies, part of the band's formula was for Farian to sing the male parts and produce all the music, while a better dancer was enlisted to front the group in concert. Boney M had huge hits both in Europe and America -- Daddy Cool, Rivers of Babylon, Ma Baker, and Rasputin among them.
Farian attempted to reproduce his success in the late 80s with the band Milli Vanilli. As before, Farian hired two dancers -- Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus -- to appear in photo ops, music videos, and other promotion, while uncredited singers performed on the albums. The band was wildly successful, their hits among the best 80s pop -- Blame It On The Rain, Don't Forget My Number, and the Grammy-winning Girl You Know It's True in 1990. When it emerged that Rob and Fab did not sing on the recordings, the pair were publicly shamed in a righteous call for "authenticity" in pop music, and even their Grammy awards were taken away. While Fab eventually bounced back, Rob spiraled into alcoholism and crime, and later died of an overdose.
Unfazed by scandal, Farian continued to do what he does best, now in a distinctly Eurodance vein. More gold records were stacked by La Bouche, which had hits with Sweet Dreams and Be My Lover, Le Click, with Tonight Is The Night, and No Mercy with Where Do You Go. The first two groups featured singer Melanie Thornton, who died in a plane crash shortly after quitting La Bouche.
Boney M. (1975-85)
Milli Vanilli Producer (1988-90)
La Bouche Producer (1995-2001)
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