Bobby Farrell, the lead singer of Boney M, the chart-topping 70s group, has reportedly died while on tour in Russia, aged 61.

According to his agent, John Seine, the singer was found dead in his hotel room in St Petersburg by hotel staff after he failed to respond to a wake-up call.

Seine said Farrell performed as scheduled on Wednesday night, but complained of breathing problems before and after his show.

He was leading a group called Bobby Farrell and Boney M, with three female back-up singers.

The original Boney M, which was based in Germany, disbanded in 1986 after scoring Europe-wide hits with 'Daddy Cool' and 'By the Rivers Of Babylon'.

Farrell was born Alfonso Farrell on the Caribbean island of Aruba, which he left when he was 15 to work as a sailor, before drifting to Norway and Germany to pursue a career as a DJ.

He was chosen in 1974 to front the Caribbean group Boney M, put together by German singer and songwriter Frank Farian, who did much of the recorded singing.

Boney M had 38 Top Ten hits, including 15 number ones in Germany. They included 'Brown Girl in the Ring' and 'Mary’s Boychild'.