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Bobby Farrell

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Genres  Pop, Disco
Name  Bobby Farrell
Role  Dancer

Years active  1975–2010
Music group  Boney M.
Associated acts  Boney M.
Movies  The Magic of Boney M
Bobby Farrell smiling on stage during a concert wearing a white bejeweled collared shirt and some necklaces.

Birth name  Roberto Alfonso Farrell
Born  6 October 1949, San Nicolaas, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles (1949-10-06)
Labels  Hansa Records, Sony-BMG
Spouse  Jasmina Farrell (m. 1981–1994)
Similar People  Liz Mitchell, Frank Farian, Maizie Williams, Marcia Barrett, Sheyla Bonnick

Occupation(s)  Dancer, entertainer

Died   30 December 2010 (aged 61) Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

Boney m daddy cool bobby farrell video tribute

Roberto Alfonso Farrell (6 October 1949 – 30 December 2010) was a Dutch dancer and performer from Aruba, best known as the male member of the successful 1970s pop and disco group Boney M.


Bobby Farrell smiling on stage during a concert wearing a red bejeweled collared shirt and some necklaces.

Bobby Farrell @ Toppers 2006 Live

Early life

A younger Bobby Farrell smiling inside a house and wearing a red leather jacket.

Farrell was born and raised on the island of Aruba in the Lesser Antilles. He left after finishing school at 15 and was a sailor for two years before moving to Norway. He then went to the Netherlands, where he found occasional work as a DJ before finding better opportunities in Germany.

Years with Boney M.

Bobby Farrell smiling during a music video and wearing a white hat and a pink jacket.

In Germany, he worked mostly as a DJ until producer Frank Farian spotted him for his new Boney M. group. He became the sole male singer in the group, although Farian later revealed that Bobby made almost no vocal contributions to the group's records, with Farian himself performing the male parts on the songs in the studio. Liz Mitchell claimed that only she, Marcia Barrett and Farian had sung on the hit recordings. Farrell did, however, perform live in some of the various incarnations of 'Boney M', including the main 1970s incarnation. Farrell left the group in 1981, after clashes with Farian. He was replaced by Reggie Tsiboe. He re-joined in 1984, and continued as a member until it finally split in 1986.

Bobby Farrell smiling with shorter hair and wearing a white long-sleeved polo shirt.

Farrell's daughter Zanillya Farrell claims that Farian deprived Farrell of his rights over Boney M.'s hits, which caused her father to lose all his income after the band split.

Bobby Farrell with shorter hair talking in an interview while wearing a white shirt.

When Dad asked Farian for 100,000 marks he was told to sign some papers. He signed away everything – image rights, royalties, the lot. My father lost everything. We had to move in with my grandmother in the Netherlands and live on welfare. After that, Dad started getting angry a lot. But Mum was very smart and realised if you own the name you can use it. Farian had not registered Boney M.all over the world. So that’s why Dad could perform in certain countries.

Bobby Farrell with a funny facial expression and wearing only a red cloth necklace.

He subsequently toured with his own group performing the band's hits under the name "Bobby Farrell's Boney M.". He also appeared as a dancer in late 2005 in the Roger Sanchez video clip of Turn on the Music.

Later years, death and legacy

Farrell lived for many years in Amsterdam, in the neighbourhood of Gaasperdam in the borough of Amsterdam-Zuidoost.

In 1981 he married Macedonian Romani Jasmine Shaban. They had daughter Zanillya Farrell in 1983 and son Zanin. They split in 1995.

He died on the morning of 30 December 2010, in a hotel in Saint Petersburg, of heart failure. His agent John Seine said Farrell was complaining of breathing problems after performing with his band the evening before. Farrell's body was reportedly discovered by hotel staff after he failed to respond to an alarm call. He was buried at Zorgvlied cemetery.

Very soon after his death was reported, it was observed to have occurred on the anniversary of, and in the same city as, the death of Rasputin, described in Boney M.s eponymous hit single, in a case of life imitating art; Farrell had also dressed up as Rasputin in some band performances of the song.

His daughter Zanillya Farrell is a rapper. In December 2011, she won the national music prize Grote Prijs van Nederland in the hip hop category.



  • 1982: Polizei / A Fool In Love
  • 1985: King Of Dancing / I See You
  • 1987: Hoppa Hoppa / Hoppa Hoppa (Instrumental)
  • 1991: Tribute To Josephine Baker
  • 2004: Aruban Style (Mixes) S-Cream Featuring Bobby Farrell
  • 2006: The Bump EP
  • 2010: Bamboo Song (Roundhouse Records)
  • Bobby Farrell's Boney M. / Boney M. Featuring Bobby Farrell / Bobby Farrell Featuring Sandy Chambers

  • 2000: The Best Of Boney M. (DVMore)
  • 2001: Boney M. – I Successi (DVMore)
  • 2001: The Best Of Boney M. (II) (compilation)
  • 2001: The Best Of Boney M. (III) (compilation)
  • 2005: Boney M. – Remix 2005 (featuring Sandy Chambers) (compilation) (Crisler)
  • 2007: Boney M. – Disco Collection (compilation)
  • All of these releases contain re-recordings of Boney M.'s hits - not the original versions.


    Bobby Farrell Wikipedia