John Davis dead: Real voice behind Milli Vanilli dies from Covid-19

John died from coronavirus
(Picture: Getty/Rex/Avalon)

Milli Vanilli star John Davis has died from coronavirus aged 66.

The singer was best known not for his face and identity, but for his vocals, as the true talent behind the notorious pop duo Milli Vanilli. 

Davis’s daughter Jasmin confirmed her father’s death in a Facebook post shared on May 24, reading: ‘Unfortunately 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.’

She later added: ‘Thank you so much all for your help, we appreciate you all. I can’t get back to everyone, but we feel the love, the prayers, all the condolences etc. 

‘This is incredible hard for us and leaves the biggest hole within us and we still in shock and disbelief. We love him so much and we’re his biggest fans! We going to miss him and his hugs & kisses so dearly.

‘It’s hard to find words, ’cause I do not have them. But just thank you for all the positive memories that you guys shared in the last few hours with us.’

Davis was born in South Carolina and later moved to Germany, where he ended up singing on the hit song Girl You Know It’s True, by the French-German duo Milli Vanilli, made up of Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus.

Davis was credited as a backing singer on the album of the same name, which sold 11 million copies, alongside other session singers.

However, it would later emerge that the backing singers were the actual singers on Girl You Know It’s True, and Morvan and Pilatus had been lip-syncing.

Producer Frank Farian admitted that he had hired David to cover for Morvan and Pilatus’s lack of ‘vocal quality’, something which emerged following a string of embarrassing incidents where backing tracks skipped and exposed Milli Vanilli for lip-syncing.

The duo, who also had success with Blame It On The Rain and Babe Don’t Forget My Number, had previously compared themselves to Elvis in an interview with Time magazine and won the 1990 Grammy Award for best new artist.

The 32nd Annual Grammy Awards

Milli Vanilli were outed for lip-syncing (Picture: CBS via Getty Images)

However, after the revelation that they weren’t singing, they were stripped of their Grammy.

Morvan went on to pursue a solo career, while Pilatus died from a suspected alcohol and prescription drug overdose at the age of 32, on the eve of the promotional tour for Milli Vanilli’s comeback album. 

In 1990, Davis formed The Real Milli Vanilli with fellow original singer Brad Howell, and their album The Moment of Truth reached the top 20 in Germany. 

The band were also known as Try ’n’ B. 

Davis also later performed with Morvan in a collaborative project called Face Meets Voice, and spent the rest of his life in Germany. 


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