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

COLUMBIA, S.C. – John Davis, just one of the true singers at the rear of the lip-synching pop duo Milli Vanilli, died of the coronavirus this 7 days, in accordance to his spouse and children. He was 66.

Davis died on Monday in Nuremberg, Germany, in which he had lived and carried out for a prolonged time, his daughter Jasmin Davis explained in a Fb post.

“We are so unbelievably sad and heartbroken,” Davis informed The Related Press in a Facebook concept.

Davis was credited with backup vocals but was genuinely a lead singer on albums by Milli Vanilli, whose expeditious ascension into the new music environment was followed by an similarly immediate fall.

Subsequent the debut solitary “Girl You Know It is True” and No. 1 hits including “Blame It On the Rain” and “Girl I’m Gonna Skip You,” Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus gained the 1989 Finest New Artist Grammy Award.

When it was revealed that neither really sang on Milli Vanilli records, the group was stripped of the Grammy months later and disbanded, reforming as Rob and Fab in 1991, but reaching minimal industrial achievement. The duo confronted legal worries, like a effective lawsuit from the 1960s-period band Blood, Sweat and Tears, which accused Morvan and Pilatus of thieving the melody of “Spinning Wheel” for “Girl You Know It’s Genuine.”


Born in Anderson, South Carolina, Davis experienced lived considerably of his lifetime in Germany following to start with getting stationed there with the U.S. Military in the 1970s, he told The Hustle podcast on an episode posted in April.

He was residing in the country performing as musician in the 1980s when German songs producer Frank Farian picked him to sing on a undertaking — for several instances what he manufactured for a normal singing gig — but did not convey to him other folks would lip-synch his audio, Davis mentioned. Farian had him arrive to the studio late at night, trying to keep him independent from other artists, he stated.

Only afterwards did he learn that his voice was becoming attributed to Morvan, Davis informed the podcast.

“One evening I was sitting at residence looking at my Television set, and I saw Fab singing ‘Girl I’m Gonna Miss out on You,'” he said.


Radio stations in Nuremberg began to identify Davis’ voice on the Milli Vanilli tracks, the singer claimed. But Davis explained to the podcast he “made a large amount of money” from the recordings and experienced a at ease everyday living, irrespective of not acquiring the stardom — albeit fleeting — of the faces of the group.

The record on which Davis sang sold a lot more than 6 million copies in the U.S. on your own. All 5 singles from the album ended up Top rated 5 hits.

Farian later on repackaged tunes that had been prepared for a second Milli Vanilli album, but with Davis and another of the precise singers shown as direct vocals. The album achieved Germany’s best 20 in 1991.

Pilatus, a former design who later turned to drugs, died by itself at age 33 in a German resort area in 1998.

Morvan and Davis remained on fantastic conditions, undertaking jointly on a German television demonstrate in 2015. A documentary film about Milli Vanilli’s increase and slide is reportedly in the works.


“We’re going to skip your electricity, the significant smile you graced me and so several with as a result of the decades, we’ll continue to keep you permanently in our hearts,” Morvan tweeted Friday, of Davis. “Your golden voice will continue on to be read, you most effective think that individuals common documents will dwell just like you eternally.”

Davis’ loved ones set up a GoFundMe to aid fork out for a assistance, which they identified as “one particular previous performance, with persons he cherished and bought loved from.”

“He produced a lot of men and women pleased with his laughter and smile, his happy spirit, like and in particular via his music,” Jasmin Davis wrote on Facebook. “He gave so a great deal to the earth!”


Affiliated Press Songs Writer Mesfin Fekadu in New York contributed to this report.


Meg Kinnard can be achieved at

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