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John Davis: True Milli Vanilli singer dies from Covid aged 66

todayMay 27, 2021 6

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John Davis, Brad Howell, Gina Mohammed and Ray Horton performed as The Real Milli VanilliIMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
image captionDavis (left) went on to perform as part of The Real Milli Vanilli

 

 

Singer John Davis, one of the true vocal talents behind notorious pop duo Milli Vanilli, has died from coronavirus at the age of 66.

 

Davis sang on the group’s hit 1989 album Girl You Know It’s True.

 

Fronted by Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus, the group sold more than 30 million singles, but were stripped of a Grammy Award after it emerged they lip-synced on hits they had never recorded.

 

Paying tribute, Davis’s daughter Jasmin asked for one “last round of applause”.

 

“He made a lot of people happy with his laughter and smile, his happy spirit, love and especially through his music,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

 

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Born in South Carolina, Davis moved to Germany and his vocals, if not his identity, became known worldwide under the guise of Milli Vanilli – the brainchild of record producer Frank Farian.

 

Voice of a pop scandal

Davis and other fellow session singers provided vocals on Girl You Know It’s True, but were only listed as backing singers, with Morvan and Pilatus falsely given credit.

 

The album became a worldwide hit, selling 11 million copies, propelled by its dance-pop title track and follow-up singles Blame It On The Rain and Babe Don’t Forget My Number.

 

Its success saw the duo win the 1990 Grammy Award for best new artist and compare themselves to Elvis in an interview with Time Magazine.

 

Fabrice Morvan and Rob PilatusIMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
image captionFabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus fronted Milli Vanilli – but did not sing

However, the group’s infamous lip-synching scandal – revealed by Farian amid intense speculation – sparked a fall from grace that remains one of the most embarrassing episodes in pop history.

 

Farian admitted he had hired Davis to cover for Morvan and Pilatus’ lack of “vocal quality”. Pilatus died in 1998 following an overdose at the age of 32.

Milli Vanilli united

After the lip-syncing scandal, Davis and fellow original singer Brad Howell formed The Real Milli Vanilli. Their only album, 1991’s The Moment of Truth (again overseen by Farian) spawned three singles – one of which, Keep On Running, made it to number four in the German charts.

In later years Davis remained in Germany and performed alongside Morvan as part of their collaborative project Face Meets Voice.

Written by: kennisadmin

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