Legal name: Franz Reuther
- Not to be confused with Frank Farina.
Frank Farian (born Franz Reuther 18 July 1941, Kirn, Germany) is a German record producer and songwriter, best known as the founder and voice behind the 1970s disco-pop group Boney M. and as the mastermind and voice behind the lip-synching group Milli Vanilli. His tendency to create bands with a visual image distinct from the recorded musical performances has led to controversy throughout his career, especially in the case of Milli Vanilli. During his career, Frank Farian has sold more than 850 million records worldwide (according to the German magazine Der Spiegel). Farian is also the owner of the record label MCI and several subsidiaries.
Farian started as a trained cook before moving into the music industry. In the early days of his career, he was keen to attain success as a solo artist, but he made little impact on the popular music scene until his song "Baby Do You Wanna Bump" (a remake of Prince Buster's song "Al Capone" from 1967), released under the pseudonym Boney M., became successful. He also had a minor hit in 1973 with "Was kann schöner sein", a German version of "When You've Gotta Go" originally by Solomon King, co-written by Lynsey de Paul and Ron Roker. Shying away from the spotlight, he hired performers to front for public performances. The lead vocals for songs on Boney M. albums in the 1970s were sung by Farian, Marcia Barrett and Liz Mitchell, who quickly became synonymous with the group. Boney M.'s frontman, Bobby Farrell, was only allowed to record vocals in the 1980s (although all four members of the group did sing live for all their concert tours). Bobby Farrell was fired from the group for unreliability in 1981.
Farian also started the supergroup Far Corporation (named after the first syllable of his last name), which featured Steve Lukather, David Paich, Bobby Kimball, Simon Phillips, and Robin McAuley, many of Toto fame. Far Corporation is notable for being the first act to chart with a cover version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven", becoming a top 10 hit in the UK, reaching number 8 in October 1985.
In 1986, Farian produced and mixed the Meat Loaf album, Blind Before I Stop. He also sang backing vocals on the first single from the album, "Rock 'n' Roll Mercenaries", which was credited to Meat Loaf featuring John Parr.
Some other groups that Farian has been involved with are Eruption (he became a manager in 1977) and No Mercy.