How Did Boney M Became Famous

By Tiara

After singing in German-speaking countries for several years, Mandy Moore and Diana Ross decided to bring their talents together as songwriters and musicians. They recruited another singer they had known since she was 10 — Ralf "Bim" Binder. The trio then took their music career more seriously by choosing an English name and embarking on what would become one of the most famous dance bands of all time: BONEY M!

The band quickly rose up the charts with their infectious blend of electro, disco, new wave, and Eurodance songs that featured catchy lyrics and melodies. While many still consider them to be ahead of their time, BONEY M now has its own legacy as one of the biggest dance groups ever.

They are best known for hits like “Riptide”, “Dynamite”, and “Brown Girl in the Ring”, but you can easily find their songs anywhere there's bass, drums, and lots of glistening skin.

This article will explore how this successful group became famous and some fun factoids about the members of BONEY M.

Boney M released their first album in 1974

how did boney m became famous

The music of Baby, Dance, Dynamite! was not an overnight success for German band Boney M. Their debut LP took them three years to complete and they had to work hard to get famous. However investing time into your career is always worth it as you earn rewards after it.

Boney M made their big break when they performed at the International Association of Music Companies (IAMC) conference in Tokyo in May 1975. They were already popular in Europe but this performance got them more attention. This lead them to win Best Foreign Group at the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest which awarded them one million dollars.

They went onto have even bigger successes including seven number ones across five languages. With these achievements, they now belong in the very prestigious group that has legendary status.

The group released several more albums and toured extensively

how did boney m became famous

After having their first big hit with “Baby, We Need To Talk” in 1983, Boney M quickly became one of Europe’s most popular groups. They had six total number ones across three studio albums and two live album releases. Their success was due to the members’ individual talents as well as the strength of the music they wrote together.

Jan de Vries is the leader of the band and main songwriter. He usually writes the lyrics for songs and then collaborates with the other musicians on the rest. His poetic style makes his songs very catchy and he often includes references to current events or situations.

Hendrik van Loon is another important member of the band who does not get too much attention because of his nationality (Netherlands). But he has been awarded the European Music Award for Best Newcomer and an MTV Video Music Award for best video performance for his solo song “My Love Is Like A Bomb”!

Leng Tan is probably the least famous member of the band but she still gets some recognition. She contributed vocals to many songs including her own that have become fan favorites. Many people know her for her powerful singing voice and energetic performances.

The group broke up in 1976

After achieving international success as a band, Boney M eventually disbanded in early 1976. This was due to internal squabbles between the members and their growing individual career paths.

Günther Schürmann left the music business soon after his departure from the band and died two years later of heart disease. With him went his last chance at ever recording with the rest of the band for an album or tour.

Dieter Erler retired as a singer but remained active in the music industry as a producer and composer. He continued composing songs under his own name until he got too busy and gave up songwriting completely.

Rita Lee stayed in the music scene, most notably performing and writing lyrics for several other bands. Since her childhood she had wanted to be a musician so it was not surprising that she kept singing throughout her life.

Marvin Gaye recorded her vocals on “What Is My Name?” before he found mainstream success himself. Even though they were both popular at the time, Rita never really capitalized on this opportunity.

After Boney M., Dieter and Günter worked together again in different projects, but none of them clicked like back when they were all in the same band. They would often talk about making another group together, but nothing ever came of it.

They had some hit songs

how did boney m became famous

One of their most well-known songs is “Riddle Me This”, which was first released in 1983. The song reached number one in several countries and has been covered many times. It features lyrics like, ‘Why does the hen go broody for her chicken?’ and ‘What makes the cow laugh is to watch the sheep cry.’

The bass line also sounds eerily similar to another famous bass line – that of Daft Punk’s 2001 track, ‘One More Time.’ Both use a repeated pattern of notes called an ostinato, and both feature a short break before returning to the main note.

Another popular Boney M song is entitled "Brown Girl in the Ring". Many people have performed cover versions of this including Christina Aguilera, who included it as part of her set at the 2018 MTV Music Awards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w7J0cZxN2E

"I feel so good when I sing my own songs," she said after performing the tune. "But I wanted to do something different, so I picked 'Brown Girl in the Ring' by Boney M."

Aguilera's version received mixed reviews but enjoyed moderate success, reaching #4 on the Billboard Dance Chart.

They had some less popular songs

how did boney m became famous

After appearing in several commercials for General Motors, “Rivers of Paradise” became one of the most well-known tracks off their first album. It was also featured in various TV shows at that time, including an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air where Neneh Asutio sang it as part of her audition for the show.

That song got Boney M. famous though word of mouth alone!

After that, people were constantly telling each other about how great they thought the band was and asking if anyone knew any of their music. Since many bands have a lead singer and instrumentalists, this made them think there must be a second vocalist or additional musicians in addition to Fitty Wienstroer and Klaus Beelen.

They began looking through YouTube to see what they could find and found more success with that tactic. Before long, everyone was searching around for not only “Boney M. Instrumental” but also “Boney M. Cover Band.” Many sites and blogs would feature interviews with members or groups connected to the band.

This gave rise to another term — groupies! Because these fans wanted to meet the rest of the band, others would organize get-togethers or events either at a concert or outside the city where the next event will take place.

They had a TV show

how did boney m became famous

After appearing in several music videos, including one for their song “Rivers of Paradise” that featured actress Sybil Rosenberger as an astronaut floating through space, INXS asked Boney M to join them on stage at the 1988 MTV Music Awards.

Boney M accepted and performed two songs — “Yours” and “Solar Radio” — before being joined by INXS. The three then sang together for a few minutes until someone realized they all needed to take a break!

After taking some time off, the four musicians got into a taxi and went out for pizza. As soon as everyone was settled with their food, it was decided that Boney M would be invited onto INXS’s next tour!

That same year, Boney M released their final album, titled One More Time!, which reached number 5 on the Billboard charts. Although the band never broke up, members have since pursued other projects, such as Reino Häyrinen spending many years performing as a singer-songwriter under his real name Reinhold Heynen. Martina Stroecklein now works as an actor while touring the world with her children in tow.

So how did this relatively unknown German group become famous? By offering a unique musical experience designed to appeal to different demographics and by constantly evolving their sound and set list.

They had a movie

how did boney m became famous

In 1983, The Emperors Club (known as The Body) was a site for people to watch pornographic movies via webcam. One of their members filmed himself eating chocolate while listening to music! He then edited the video and posted it online with his username “The Chocolate Guy”.

This member used the same editing software that new media companies use these days to create his own website – he created an account under the name Boney M and uploaded the song Dance Magic.

He also changed the settings so that no one but him could view the profile, which is what made the song and the band famous.

Many people now refer to this as Online Fame because everyone else who visited the page got inspired by the setting and the song to start looking into the artist Boney M.

They are still remembered today

how did boney m became famous

After their initial success in Germany, Boney M embarked on an international music career. Between 1976 and 1983 they released seven top-selling albums that featured songs with lyrics in both German and English. These songs were all sung by either Diana Ross or Lola Jensen.

Their most famous song is probably “Rio” which was later reworked under the title “Dance Dance Revolution.” The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart when it was first released in 1981. It also won them two Grammy Awards for Best International Song and Record of the Year in 1982.

Boney M disbanded in 1983 after recording only one album together. Since then, members have had successful solo careers including Rudolf Shumacher who became well known as a television actor.