The legacy of a legend will always live on.
In the '90s, the German French R&B group Milli Vanilli — with members Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan — was one of the music industry’s brightest talents. However, through their rise in the industry came a huge fall, as the world learned that Rob and Fab were not the true voices of the group. It was actually revealed that the real singers were Brad Howell, Charles Shaw, and John Davis.
Fans, both past and present, felt hoodwinked by the controversial revelation, which put more eyes on the real Milli Vanilli singers. So, where are they now? Are they still alive? Are the real Milli Vanilli members still making music? Read on to get the 4-1-1.
John L. Davis unfortunately passed away at the age of 66.
It’s always painful to discover that one of the musical greats is no longer with us. And while John was able to get his rightful praise for his vocal contributions to Milli Vanilli, his life was cut short.
The New York Post reported that John Davis has passed away at the age of 66. Unfortunately, COVID-19 was to blame.
On Monday May 24, 2021, John’s daughter Jasmin shared the sad news via Facebook.
“My dad passed away this evening through the coronavirus,” she wrote. “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.”
Although John was initially a silent voice behind Milli Vanilli’s success, the lip-synching scandal with actors Rob and Fab in 1990 turned out to work in John's favor. He went on to write music and compose for various talents in the music industry. Plus, he and the other real Milli Vanilli singer released the album The Moment of Truth in Europe and the U.S.
Plus, Milli Vanilli also attempted to make a comeback with John's help. TMZ reports that Fab and John had plans of putting out an album titled Face Meets Voice: A True Milli Vanilli Experience. However, the project was never released.
Brad Howell has continued his work as a singer, keyboardist, and pianist.
Many would think that the scandal would make the real singers a bit skeptical of working in the music industry. But for Brad, the No.1 goal is to share his talent with the world.
Following the news of the lip-synching scandal, Brad’s sentiments were a bit shocking to everyone. While appearing on Oprah: Where Are They Now (per The Huff Post), Brad shared that singing behind the scenes didn’t really bother him, although the other real singers were not happy with the situation.
"I didn't want to be a frontman because I've been on stage for many years with so many other different groups," Brad shared on the show. "So, I didn't want to be on the stage at that time at the age of 46. But I wanted to make music behind the scenes."
Still, he decided to continue his work in the music industry. People Pill reports that he went on to join the band The Real Milli Vanilli in 1991. While the group was unsuccessful in the U.S., they received major acclaim in Europe.
Charles Shaw has also decided to make a name for himself in the industry as a solo act.
Charles Shaw refused to allow the demise of Milli Vanilli to get in the way of his career. While The Real Milli Vanilli decided to try their hand at stardom with the real singers, Charles took the opportunity and ran with it — especially because he was upset with the secrecy.
“You have two sides,” Charles sais on the Oprah: Where Are They Now special. “One side, you feel good because you’re saying, ‘My voice done made it. Number one, worldwide.’ But you’re still sitting in the back and saying, ‘That’s not what I really wanted. I wanted to make it.’”
Milli Vanilli may be damaged goods in the eyes of music lovers, but the real singers have made a name for themselves in the industry. And while John is no longer with us, we're sure that his contributions to the music industry will never be forgotten.
We would like to give our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of John Davis.