Amsterdam, Dec 31. -Bobby Farrell, the voice of the legendary disco group Boney M, died suddenly Thursday at the age of 61 in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he had just performed.
The news was confirmed early this morning by John Seine, his representative, who did not specify the cause of death.
In a concert on Wednesday, Farrell performed a sampling of his best-known songs. His next tour stop was Italy.
Born Roberto Alfonso "Bobby" Farrell on Oct. 6, 1949 on the island of Aruba and a resident of Holland, his adopted country, Farrell began his career as a nightclub disc jockey, but from a very young age stood out for his distinctive style of singing and dancing.
An enthusiast of soul and disco, Mikito, as his closest friends called him, saw his first major success in 1976, when he was discovered by German businessman Frank Farian, who hired him for a group.
In Germany, he met singers Marcia Barret, Liz Mitchell and Maizie Williams, and together they formed one of the most popular dance music groups of the 1970s and 80s, Boney M, selling more than 150 million records.
Farrell and his band won over audiences on all five continents with songs like Rasputin, Sunny, Rivers of Babylon, It is Holi-Holiday, and Brown Girl in the Ring.
Farrell continued to make disco music after Boney M split up in 1986, including remixes of some of the group's most famous tracks.
The singer and dancer was proud of his Caribbean culture and often fused disco with influences from Aruba.
"I want my music to make people feel good and to create sweet memories," he is quoted as saying on his official website.
With his death, disco music lost one of its great voices. (Prensa Latina)