Frank Farian, the founder of Milli Vanilli and Boney M, has reportedly passed away. He was 81 years old at the time of his death.
The German singer, songwriter, and producer’s family released a statement on Tuesday, Jan. 23, to PEOPLE. They confirmed he passed away “peacefully” at his home in Miami, Florida.
Frank Farian’s death comes nearly two years after he revealed to German newspaper Bild that he had undergone heart valve replacement surgery. He also had a “pig heart valve” inserted in his chest. He said that his own valve had shrunk with age. Farian pointed out that the surgery had saved his life.
“My heart valve works wonderfully,” Farian told the newspaper in Nov. 2023. “Mick Jagger also received exactly the same heart valve. I have a good pig in me! I’m very grateful for that.”
He also spoke about the medication he was on. “This is a similar active ingredient to Viagra and has a nice side effect. But to be honest, I’m not thinking about sex at all at the moment. Today I enjoy a good meal and am just happy that I’m still alive.”
Despite being confident, The Evening Standard reported that Frank Farian’s condition had worsened following the procedure. He had noticeably lost a lot of weight. He was also relying on a wheelchair.
The musician’s former partner, Ingrid “Milli” Segieth, told Bild she had visited him in Miami over the holidays. “Frank was physically very weak,” she confirmed. “But was still full of energy. He was still standing in the recording studio all day, working on new music.”
Boney M Singer Liz Mitchell Speaks About Frank Farian Following the News About His Death
Following news of Frank Farian’s passing, Boney M singer, Liz Mitchell spoke about the late producer’s dedication to the the group.
“Our work was truly blessed and so enjoyed by people around the world who had the privilege to hear it down the years,” she explained. “The testimonies come from the hearts of those who heard it and I am so grateful to the God of music that allowed our coming together, to create and present to the world the music of Boney M.”
Mitchell then said, “We shared and united under a star which rose above and beyond what we ever dared to expect. I say well done to the work that we did. Rest in peace, Frank.”
Frank Farian previously stated that his music success was a huge surprise. “I had always thought I wouldn’t make it,” he admitted. “It didn’t look like it at first.”