Home » Berlin funeral service for the music producer who invented Boney M. and Milli Vanilli

Berlin funeral service for the music producer who invented Boney M. and Milli Vanilli

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Berlin funeral service for the music producer who invented Boney M. and Milli Vanilli

There are countless small and large disco balls in the flower pots in front of the doors of the funeral hall. Three bouncers in thick black coats stand in front of it and smoke. The last notes of a sound check can be heard from the Heeresbäckerei magazine in Kreuzberg. Then the funeral service for the music producer Frank Farian begins. Relatives, friends and companions said goodbye to him on Monday afternoon.

On January 23, 2024, Frank Farian died in Miami at the age of 82. Born in 1941 as Franz Reuther in the town of Kirn, he moved to Saarland at the age of 14 and lived for a long time in Rosbach near Frankfurt am Main. He set up a recording studio there in his property and produced his world hits from the small town in Hesse. Farian produced the bands Boney M. and Milli Vanilli and played with Stevie Wonder. The trained chef later moved to Miami, where he lived until his death. Most recently he worked on a Boney M. musical.

Thomas Anders and his wife Claudia also came to the funeral service for the music producer Frank Farian.Monika Skolimowska/dpa

This mourning event is not a sad farewell, but a cheerful gathering with anecdotes from Farian’s closest companions – and of course with lots of music. The Gospel Soul Notes will also be there, opening the funeral service with the gospel classic “Amazing Grace”.

The TV presenter Fritz Egner leads the event and tries again and again to say warm words to the guests: “’Amazing Grace’ is 200 years old. Maybe Frank Farian’s music will still be played in 200 years.”

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Anecdotally, Egner remembers Farian telling him at a meeting why he had initially learned something different before starting his music career. Egner remembers Farian’s words: “As a child, I was always hungry and that’s why I learned to be a cook.” As a young man, Farian even cooked for the then Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in Saarbrücken.

Farian gained his great international success in the 1970s with the group Boney M., whose songs “Daddy Cool”, “Rasputin” and “Rivers of Babylon” became global hits. The hits were sung by the producer himself; Dancer and frontman Bobby Farrell simply moved his lips to his deep, distinctive voice. What would later fall on Milli Vanilli’s feet was not yet a scandal for Boney M..

Funeral service for Frank Farian: companions say goodbye

Farian’s daughter Nicole Reuther also says a few words to the audience. She is often close to tears but still tries to stay cheerful. Just last winter she visited her father in Miami. “He was full of energy,” she says. She is grateful for the beautiful moments with him.

There is a lot of music to be heard on Monday mornings. Friends and close artists perform medleys of songs by Boney M. and Milli Vanilli, among others, with the big hits “Daddy Cool”, “Sunny” and “Blame It on the Rain” also being played. However, the song “Girl You Know It’s True”, which is often associated with the Milli Vanilli scandal, was not sung.

Frank Farian had his career high in the late 80s thanks to the musical duo Milli Vanilli. Milli Vanilli, consisting of the two artists Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, suddenly became famous with their single “Girl You Know It’s True” in 1988. The journey to America was very short. A world tour followed and the Grammy in 1990. When it came out that the two had also sung playback to other people’s voices, their careers ended as suddenly as they had begun. The unusual story about Milli Vanilli was even made into a film in 2023; Matthias Schweighöfer took on the role of music producer Frank Farian.

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Farian’s long-time patron and companion, Hans Blume, is also in the audience and provides one of the special moments at the funeral service. Farian remains in his memory as a reliable person. Blume tells an anecdote: “Just recently he told me that he wanted to come from Miami to Berlin soon. Unfortunately he didn’t make it. That’s very unusual for him!” Because otherwise Farian was usually someone you could count on. Maybe even in 200 years.

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