Milli Vanilli’s Surviving Member Reflects on Lip-Syncing Fallout: ‘People Forgot We Were Human Beings’ |

Milli Vanilli’s Surviving Member Reflects on Lip-Syncing Fallout: ‘People Forgot We Were Human Beings’

Milli Vanilli singer Fab Morvan opened up about the pop duo’s lip-syncing scandal.

via: The Messenger

It’s been 34 years since the rise and fall of Milli Vanilli. After linking up with mastermind producer Frank Farian circa 1989, Robert “Rob” Pilatus and Fabrice “Fab” Morvan quickly became the biggest pop duo in the world, with their first album going six-times platinum in the U.S. and their hit song “Girl You Know It’s True” selling over 30 million copies worldwide. There was only one problem: Pilatus and Morvan hadn’t sung a single word.

In the new documentary Milli Vanilli — directed by Luke Korem, and streaming on Paramount+ starting Oct. 24 — Morvan, the duo’s sole surviving member, revisits their climb to the top, and the collapse that swiftly followed with the reveal of their lip-syncing lie. They weren’t monsters, Morvan insists; they were manipulated.

“We were not what people thought we were, which is the puppet master of everybody and everything,” Morvan told The Messenger in an interview last week. “We were the front people, but behind, there was so much more. Unfortunately, the journalists didn’t investigate properly.”

Morvan and Pilatus had both escaped abusive and broken homes in Germany, and Farian promised them a bright future. The producer saw them as pretty faces and great dancers, but claimed their accents wouldn’t sell records in America.

“What I learned from the music industry is that, you think that you enter a family, that you become a family member. And you are a family member, as long as you sell,” Morvan said. Farian hired singers John Davis, Brad Howell and Charles Shaw to function as the faceless voices behind Milli Vanilli’s songs. And it proved to be a lucrative formula.

By the time Milli Vanilli accepted the Best New Artist award at the Grammys in 1990, their lip-syncing was somewhat of an open secret in the music industry. Word had started to spread after the duo’s vocal track glitched at one of their concerts.

Morvan and Pilatus were deemed public enemies. “People forgot that we were human beings. They bullied us so hard,” Morvan recalled. “We became a punchline. And it was to a point where we couldn’t go out, so we had to go out separately. And then even going out by myself, people recognized me. And if I would hear people laugh, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, how am I going to keep on going?'”

Filming the documentary was a cathartic experience for Morvan, an exercise in acceptance. “Forgiving myself, forgiving the big bad wolf Frank Farian, had to be done in order for me to move forward and get ahold of my self-esteem,” he explained.

Share This Post