Milli Vanilli’s Grammy Win

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.

For more about Milli Vanilli, check out this 2015 interview with Fab Morvan. For more on the voices behind Milli Vanilli, check out this short video on YouTube.

Will you admit you liked Milli Vanilli? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    2 thoughts on “Milli Vanilli’s Grammy Win”

    1. I’m glad you wrote this. I’ve never liked their music or the dance, but it’s a truly tragic story. I recall watching Rob Pilatus’ last interview on TV a few years after his death (by CBS or Dateline, can’t remember). Comparatively, today, people seem to have much better tolerance for celeb hiccups like lip-syncing or wardrobe malfunction. (Not sure what does that imply.)

      The Edge joke was great.

    2. Thanks. I recall seeing the “Behind the Music” episode and their interviews with Rob Pilatus too. Seeing how he was still troubled by the events and what happened to the two guys helped me see the events in a different light. (Glad you liked the comment about The Edge in the post about U2 on Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” debut.) Take care.

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