John Davis, one of the real Milli Vanilli singers, dead at 66
John Davis, one of the real voices behind infamous late-'80s pop group Milli Vanilli, has died of COVID complications. He was 66. Davis' daughter, Jasmin, shared the sad news on Facebook, writing, "My dad passed away this evening through the coronavirus. He made a lot of people happy with his laughter and smile, his happy spirit, love and especially through his music. He gave so much to the world! Please give him the last round of applause. We will miss him dearly.”
Milli Vanilli were created by German producer and songwriter Frank Farian, who recruited German-French "model/singers" Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan to front the group. While Farian liked their image and style, he was not happy with their singing and replaced their vocals with John Davis, Brad Howell and others, leaving Rob & Fab to star in the videos. "Girl You Know It's True" became a worldwide smash in 1989, with "Blame it On the Rain" and "Baby Don't Forget My Number" also becoming hits. Their debut album, Girl You Know It's True, won the Best New Artist Grammy in 1990. But when later that year it was revealed Rob & Fab didn't sing on the album, things went south quick, and the Recording Academy revoked their award, which is the only time that has happened in Grammys history. Farian tried to rebrand the group as The Real Milli Vanilli with Davis, Howell and other actual singers, but the album, The Moment of Truth, didn't get released in North America.
Davis had put out a few solo records before Milli Vanilli, including 1990's Still Be Loving You.
Rest in peace, John.