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Milli Vanilli's Scandals
- Milli Vanilli
- Grammy Awards Withdrawn
The Milli Vanilli Lip Synch Scandal:
They were a hot new act in the music industry in the late 1980's but it didn't last long, because the duet known as Milli Vanilli on stage and on screen were not really singing those songs – they were just mouthing the words to a recording.
The R&B pop group burst on the music scene out of West Germany in 1988. The group starred Fab Morvan …
...and Rob Pilatus…
Their first album, "Girl You Know It's True" was a huge success worldwide and Milli Vanilli won the Grammy Award for "Best New Artist" in February 1990.
Their success lasted until the early '90's when the Los Angeles Times" broke the news that the lead singers on the vocals were not Morvan and Pilatus.
Frank Farian created the group and he chose five singers Charles Shaw, John Davis, Brad Howell, and twin sisters Jodie and Linda Rocco as the lead singers.
However, while he liked their voices, he didn't think they projected the right image, so he recruited Morvan and Pilatus to front for them and lip synch.
But the duo's English skills were poor and some started to doubt they were singing on those recordings. And at one live performance, a recording started to skip…and they just lip synched the skipping record and danced around! Play the following clip, past the non-English speaking portion and you'll see how it happened.
Shaw told Long Island Newsday that he was the singer and Morvan and Pilatus were imposters.
Milli Vanilli's Grammy was withdrawn, Arista Records dropped them and as details grew, 27 different lawsuits were filed. It ended with refunds to those who attended Milli Vanilli's live concerts.
Sadly, Pilatus turned to drugs and crime during efforts to resurrect the act with him as one of the singers.
He was found dead of an accidental drug and alcohol overdose in a Frankfurt hotel room on April 2, 1998.
Morvan kept plugging away as a performer making personal appearances and releasing a single called "Anytime" on iTunes in April 2011
The actual singers who recorded the Milli Vanilli sound tracks filmed an interview for the Oprah Winfrey Network, which aired in February, 2014.