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John Davis, Milli Vanilli Vocalist, Dead at 66

Photo: Nico Schimmelpfennig/picture alliance via Getty Images

John Davis, one of the real singers behind the R&B duo Milli Vanilli, has died at the age of 66. Variety reports that Davis, a tenured singer-songwriter and composer, had recently contracted COVID-19. “He made a lot of people happy with his laughter and smile, his happy spirit, love and especially through his music,” his daughter, Jasmine, said in a statement. “He gave so much to the world! Please give him the last round of applause. We will miss him dearly.” As one of the biggest musical bombshells of the modern era, it was unearthed in 1990 that Milli Vanilli duo Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan didn’t actually sing their own vocals, but rather used backup singers to pass as their own voices. Davis was one of those singers, and as such, his voice is what you heard on popular tracks such as “Girl You Know It’s True,” “Blame It on the Rain” and “Baby Don’t Forget My Number.” In the aftermath of the lip-sync scandal, this cadre of actual singers rebranded as the Real Milli Vanilli and released the 1991 album The Moment of Truth, spurring the minor hits “Keep on Running” and “Tell Me Where It Hurts.” In a tweet, Morvan mourned the loss of his “brother.”

John Davis, Milli Vanilli Vocalist, Dead at 66