John Davis, real voice behind Milli Vanilli duo, dies of coronavirus at 66
John Davis, known as one of the studio voices behind the duo Milli Vanilli, has died. He was 66.
The singer died Monday evening, according to a statement his daughter Jasmin Davis provided to USA TODAY. She shared a video on social media of her father singing a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” writing about his “happy spirit.”
“He made a lot of people happy with his laughter and smile, his happy spirit, love and especially through his music,” she wrote. “He gave so much to the world! Please give him the last round of applause. We will miss him dearly.”
Davis was credited as one of the real voices behind the R&B group Milli Vanilli. In the 1990s the group’s front men Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus were exposed for lip syncing their records, while Davis and other singers were the talents behind the music from their 1989 “Girl You Know It’s True” album.
The album sold 7 million copies and made Morvan and Pilatus international stars, winning a Grammy for best new artist. Years later, the duo’s producer confirmed to the public that the group was lip syncing and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences stripped Milli Vanilli of their Grammy.
They disbanded Milli Vanilli and re-formed as Rob and Fab in 1991 but had little commercial success. Pilatus died in 1998 in a German hotel room after consuming alcohol and pills.
Davis reflected on Pilatus’ death during an interview on OWN’s “Where They Are Now.”
“I can imagine how hard it is, you’re a world star and everyone knows you’re the guy who sings (in) Milli Vanilli, and then all of a sudden everyone knows that you’re a fake.” Davis said. “so its nowhere you can go in this world and people (are) not making fun of you.”
Davis, Jodie Rocco, Linda Rocco and Brad Howell operated under the moniker The Real Milli Vanilli and posted a tribute to Davis on their Twitter page.
“It’s a sad day….. RIP John. We wouldn’t be who we are without you…..,” the group wrote.
Contributing: The Associated Press