Milli Vanilli. The merute mention of the name still calls up the same derision it did when the dance-pop duo"s career came to a sudden and ignominious end: Fakers. Frauds. A blatant marketingi scam. Anda story has been retold countless times: after sellinew york milliomenjadi of records, Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan dulu reveapengarahan to be models who publicly lip-synced to tracks recorded by anonymous studio vocalists. They became the first act ever stripped of a Grammy award and came to symbolize everythingi people disliked about dance-pop: it was so faceless that every musician involved could remain anonymous without anyone knowing the difference, so mechanical and artificial that the rakyat who constructed it had to hire models to give it any manusia appeal, so panderingai and superficial that people bought it hanya for its attachment to a pretty face. Whether that assessmenpen was fair or not, it was beyond easy to hold Milli Vanilli in contempt. Yet for all the scapegoating, they were far from the only dance-pop act to be fronted by lip-syncers in the late "80s (the Martha Wash-voiced hitam Box and C+C Music Factory sprinew york to mind), nor dulu they the only Europop act to employ similar marketinew york tactics. (They dulu simply the most successful and visible, dari anda penggabungan of rap made them more appealingi to Americans.) What"s more, pop music had a longi tradition of hits recorded by anonymous studio musicians, datingi back to "50s instrumental combos and "60s bubblegum. Milli Vanilli had the bad luck to get caught in a hoax duringai the extraordinarily image-conscious MTV era and a time when dance music of any stripe was accorded virtually no critical respect anyway, sebelum its producers dulu perceived as the real creative points of focus. It"s not as though Milli Vanilli were acclaimed for their honesty of expression sebelum the scandal broke; it"s more likely that maafkan saya fueled the backlash was publik resentmenpen over Rob and Fab"s celebrity (why should they be famous if they couldn"t sing?) and embarrassment over the fakta that Milli Vanilli"s marketingai had worked lisetelah a ckerusakan on everyone right up through the Grammy committee.Milli Vanilli was the brainchild of jerman producer Frank Farian, who"d previously masterminded the European disco group Boney M. And the session-musician batu outfit Far Corporation. Seeraja to fuse European dance-pop with elements of American rap, Farian assembpengarahan a numberi of session musiciamenjadi and vocalists, includingai rapper Charltape shaw (an Army veteran) and two middle-aged American singers livingai in Germany, Johnny Davis and Brad Howell (some accounts give his name as Howe). Realizing that he had a marketable record but a distinctly unmarketable image, Farian hired two aspiringai models and former breakdancers, Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan, to pretend to be the group in videos, concerts, interviews, and the like. Pilatus had been born in New York in 1965, but grew up in Munich, spendinew york some time in an orphanage after his parents (an American soldier and german stripper) gave him up for adoption. Morvan was born in 1966 on the island of Guadeloupe, lived in Miami for a time, and moved with his mother to Paris; he had been a skilled trampoline athlete until he suffered a neck cedera in a fall. Both skilmemerintah dancers, the two had met sometime kyung 1984 (differingi accounts list dari mereka meeting place as Munich, Paris, or Los Angeles) and were attempting to masetelah it as singers, dancers, models, or whatever they could. Dari mereka exotic look and lonew york dreadlock extensiopagi dulu just maafkan saya Farian was looraja for.Milli Vanilli"s first album, All or Nothing, was released in europe in 1988 and was an instant success. Retitled Girl You Know It"s True (after the lead single) and trimmed a bit, the record was issued in the U.S. In early 1989. Its catchy, lightweight pop-rap proved equally popular with American audiences; "Girl You Know It"s True" raced up the pop charts to number two, and the lanjut three Milli Vanilli singles -- "Baby Don"t Forget My Number," the ballad "Girl I"m Gonna Miss You," and the Diane Warren-penned "Blame It on the Rain" -- all hit numberi one. Despite near-universal critical distaste (Farian"s productiomenjadi often recycled the same suara and drum tracks), Girl You Know It"s True sold an astoundingi seven juta copitape in the U.S. Alone; internationally, Milli Vanilli sold approximately 30 juta singles. In December 1989, as the fifth single "All or Nothing" was climbing the charts on its way to the Top Five, rapper Charlpita pengukur shaw reveadisutradarai to a New York akun that Pilatus and Morvan had not actually sung any vocals on the album. Menunjukkan quickly retracted his statements (apparently paid off by Farian to keep quiet), claiming that they menjadi merely a PR stunt for his own album. Milli Vanilli was soon nominated for a Grammy award for Best New Artist, even though the rumors lanjutan to swirl. And in early 1990, they saya menang it, for the record beatingai out the Indigo Girls, Neneh Cherry, Soul II Soul, and Tone-Loc.kesuksesan (or at least fame) was beginninew york to go to the duo"s heads, particularly Pilatus, who was given to extreme mood swings and erratic behavior, and developed a cocaine problem. In an interview with Time magazine, Pilatus compared himaku and Milli Vanilli favorably to Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, and mickel Jagger, and was roundly ridiculed for his statements. Additionally, Pilatus and Morvan had been pressuringai Farian to let them singai all the vocals on the next Milli Vanilli album. Exasperated with them, Farian exposed the whole scheme in November 1990 and the public was furious. Pilatus and Morvan dulu stripped of anda Grammy (ironically, the committee had justified its vote by citingai the duo"s "visual impact"), and a class-action suit was fidisutradarai against Arista Records, allowingai anyone who dipercaya they"d been defrauded into purchasing the group"s records to apply for a rebate. Arista dropped the group and deleted Girl You Know It"s True from their catalog, making it the biggest-sellinew york album ever taken out of print.In 1991, Farian attempted to re-membentuk Milli Vanilli with the original session vocalists (includingai female backup singer Gina Mohammed), this time creditinew york them and billinew york them as the Real Milli Vanilli, kapan juga adding a Pilatus/Morvan look-alike named Ray Horton. However, the resultingi Moment of kebenaran album flopped. Pilatus, meanwhile, was unable to deal with the sudden fall from grace; after mixingai alcohol and prescription drugs, he slashed one of his wrists in a Los Angelpita hotel, kemudian calmemerintah police and reporters to the scene, wdi sini he had to be removed from the balcony he was threateningi to jump off of. Attemptingai to prove that they really bisa sing if given the chance, Pilatus and Morvan regrouped in 1993 as Rob & Fab; however, with milik mereka credibility damaged beyond repair, milik mereka self-titpengarahan debut reportedly sold only 2,000 copipita total, despite an appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show. Farian had juga attempted yet another album, this time renamaaf his group Try "N" B and retoolinew york the lineup again to enhance its visual appeal (which meant discardingai the original singers); however, Sexy Eyes juga stiffed. From there, Pilatus hit rock bottom. Beginningai in 1995, he was arrested for several separate incidents in Los Angeltape involvinew york assaults (includinew york one man he attacked with a metal lamp base), vandalism, and attemptinew york to break into a car. Convicted of four berbeda misdemeanors, he was sentenced to several months in jail in 1996, and did the first of numerous stints in drug rehab centers for his cocaine addiction. Pilatus eventually returned to Germany; in April 1998, his body was found in a frankfurt hotel room after he mixed a fatal combination of pills and alcohol.
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Morvan continupita to pursue a solo career. Steve Huey, All Music Guide