John Davis, actual singer behind Milli Vanilli, dies at 66


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — John Davis, one of many actual singers behind the lip-synching pop duo Milli Vanilli, died of the coronavirus this week, in accordance with his household. He was 66.

Davis died on Monday in Nuremberg, Germany, the place he had lived and carried out for a very long time, his daughter Jasmin Davis mentioned in a Fb submit.

“We’re so extremely unhappy and heartbroken,” Davis informed The Related Press in a Fb message.

Davis was credited with backup vocals however was actually a lead singer on albums by Milli Vanilli, whose expeditious ascension into the music world was adopted by an equally speedy fall.

Following the debut single “Lady You Know It’s True” and No. 1 hits together with “Blame It On the Rain” and “Lady I’m Gonna Miss You,” Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus received the 1989 Finest New Artist Grammy Award.

When it was revealed that neither truly sang on Milli Vanilli information, the group was stripped of the Grammy months later and disbanded, reforming as Rob and Fab in 1991, however reaching little business success. The duo confronted authorized challenges, together with a profitable lawsuit from the Nineteen Sixties-era band Blood, Sweat and Tears, which accused Morvan and Pilatus of stealing the melody of “Spinning Wheel” for “Lady You Know It’s True.”

Born in Anderson, South Carolina, Davis had lived a lot of his life in Germany after first being stationed there with the U.S. Military within the Nineteen Seventies, he informed The Hustle podcast on an episode printed in April.

He was residing within the nation working as musician within the Nineteen Eighties when German music producer Frank Farian chosen him to sing on a undertaking — for a number of occasions what he made for an everyday singing gig — however did not inform him others would lip-synch his music, Davis mentioned. Farian had him come to the studio late at evening, holding him separate from different artists, he mentioned.

Solely later did he uncover that his voice was being attributed to Morvan, Davis informed the podcast.

“One night I used to be sitting at residence watching my TV, and I noticed Fab singing ‘Lady I’m Gonna Miss You,'” he mentioned.

Radio stations in Nuremberg started to acknowledge Davis’ voice on the Milli Vanilli tracks, the singer mentioned. However Davis informed the podcast he “made some huge cash” from the recordings and had a cushty life, regardless of not reaching the stardom — albeit fleeting — of the faces of the group.

The file on which Davis sang offered greater than 6 million copies within the U.S. alone. All 5 singles from the album had been High 5 hits.

Farian later repackaged songs that had been deliberate for a second Milli Vanilli album, however with Davis and one other of the particular singers listed as lead vocals. The album reached Germany’s high 20 in 1991.

Pilatus, a former mannequin who later turned to medicine, died alone at age 33 in a German lodge room in 1998.

Morvan and Davis remained on good phrases, performing collectively on a German tv present in 2015. A documentary movie about Milli Vanilli’s rise and fall is reportedly within the works.

“We’re going to overlook your power, the massive smile you graced me and so many with by way of the years, we’ll hold you without end in our hearts,” Morvan tweeted Friday, of Davis. “Your golden voice will proceed to be heard, you greatest imagine that these traditional information will stay identical to you eternally.”

Davis’ household arrange a GoFundMe to assist pay for a service, which they referred to as “one final efficiency, with individuals he liked and acquired liked from.”

“He made lots of people joyful together with his laughter and smile, his joyful spirit, love and particularly by way of his music,” Jasmin Davis wrote on Fb. “He gave a lot to the world!”


Related Press Music Author Mesfin Fekadu in New York contributed to this report.


Meg Kinnard might be reached at

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