Music Will the real singers please stand up?

Discussion in 'Retro, Vintage & Classic Forum' started by Petra, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. Petra

    Petra Active Member

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    Do you know Charles Shaw, John Davis and Brad Howell? No? I think you do! Cause who doesn't know this song? It's the Milli Vanilli classic 'Girl, you know it's true', released in the late eighties.

    Milli Vanilli was the brainchild of German producer and songwriter Frank Farian. After his succes with European disco group Boney M, Farian wanted to create a new vocal group. He thought the singers he had were good, but the record company and Farian weren't convinced that they had the X-factor. A mastermind plan was born. Farian recruited models/singers Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan in a Munich club and told them they were needed to be the front of the new group and that the real singers were going to be used as background singers. During the process of recording the album Pilatus and Morvan found out that this wasn't the plan at all. Because of binding contracts Rob and Fab had no other choice than to go along with the deceit and lip-sync their way through concerts and TV performances.

    During one of their live shows in 1989 it became obvious that they weren't singing live. Performing their number one hit song the backtrack skipped and kept repeating the same phrase. Pilatus and Morvan ran off stage after they first tried to save the performance by pretending it was rehearsed. Media all over the world picked up and questions were raised about why they weren't singing live. When rapper Charles Shaw later disclosed to the media that he was one of three actually singing the songs and not Pilatus and Morvan and than retracted his statement ( supposedly because Farian paid him 150000 dollar) more and more people pressured Farian to come clean. A year later he did. He admitted that Pilatus and Morvan did not sing the songs on the record and due to media pressure they were stripped from their Grammy Award a few days later.

    In 1998 Milli Vanilli was revived, by Frank Farian, and included both Pilatus and Morvan and some background singers from the previous album. A final attempt to bring back some of the fame they knew from years before. Rob Pilatus unfortunately faced a lot of personal problems during the production of the album and turned to drugs and crime. After an arrest in the US he served time in a Californian jail. Farian paid Pilatus to go into rehab after his jail time, but it was too late. On the eve of the albums release Rob Pilatus was found dead at his hotel room in Frankfurt. He died at age 32 of a drugs and alcohol overdose. The album was never released.

    Milli Vanilli wasn't the only vocal group that was a fake! Boney M, C and C Music Factory and
    Modern Talking were too! Did you know?

    o-OWN-OPRAH-WHERE-ARE-THEY-NOW-MILLI-VANILLI-facebook.jpg
     
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  2. Bram

    Bram Active Member

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    Fantastic article. What a fraud this Farian was and oh boy it paid the bills for him :)

    Shocked to find out Modern Talking were fakes too, didn't know that. Please don't tell me they weren't really playing their instruments either? :p

    All still good old skool songs though.
     
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  3. jon turner

    jon turner New Member

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    I never knew about the drug problem and his death, guess they kept that quiet.
    on a lighter note this always cracked me up, why you don't get metal bands to mime.

     
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  4. Bram

    Bram Active Member

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    Haha that video is awesome @jon turner. Iron Maiden there sounds exactly the same as on my CD's.

    They probably had a big laugh about it themselves :)
     
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  5. Bram

    Bram Active Member

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    More background info on the real Milli Vanilli singers.


    And a rare live performance from the real MV back in '91

     
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  6. Bram

    Bram Active Member

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    The real voice of Pilatus <insert German accent> "was very bad"

     
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