On February 22, 1990, Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus appeared on the Grammy Awards as Milli Vanilli. The duo performed their hit “Girl You Know It’s True” from their debut album of the same name, and then they accepted the award for Best New Artist. By the end of the year, though, the public discovered that the duo did not sing on their record and that they had been lip syncing the song.
Although the two had not come up with the idea about the lip syncing and were at least partially manipulated by others in the business, the scandal effectively ruined their successful careers. The two men, who were sued for their role in the misrepresentation, later tried releasing music with their real voices. But Morvan and Pilatus found no success with their new music, perhaps because the public was still mad at being duped.
The downfall was especially hard for Pilatus, who was found dead of an alcohol and drug overdose in April 1998. Morvan continues to make music.
And, in 2016, Morvan became a pitchman for KFC’s “#BeReal” campaign, which highlights his Milli Vanilli past (2016 Update). KFC’s 3-minute “documentary” on Morvan is both funny and touching. Check it out.
Although I remember when their songs were constantly on the radio, today I rarely hear “Girl You Know It’s True” or other Milli Vanilli’s hits like “Blame It On the Rain.” The whole mess still seems unfair to Morvan and Pilatus. People loved the music so much when they thought the singers danced like Morvan and Pilatus, but after the scandal broke, people would not embrace the real singers or the real dancers. Yet, the music was always the same. I am not sure whether we were mad at Morvan and Pilatus or we were mad at ourselves for being fooled, or both.
But at least for a time, both Milli Vanilli and the fans had a good time. It is just too bad that we got to move on but Morvan and Pilatus could not. So, for today, suspend your memory and just enjoy watching Morvan and Pilatus dancing on the Grammys and picking up the award, which they would have to give back by the end of the year.
Will you admit you liked Milli Vanilli? Leave your two cents in the comments.
(Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)