Who is Milli Vanilli

Milli Vanilli

Milli Vanilli was a discopop duo produced by Frank Farian, which consisted of Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus. The duo's initial great success ended in scandal in 1990 when it became known that they had not sung any of their songs themselves. Their part only consisted of dancing to the songs played via playback and sung by other artists and moving their lips synchronously.


The single mentioned in the discography Dansez appeared in 1987/88 under the band name Empire bizarre. Pilatus and Morvan were hired by Ralph Siegel for this band. The title was not a commercial success.

Frank Farian later offered the two interpreters to collaborate on his Milli Vanilli project.

In 1988 Milli Vanilli had a guest appearance in the ZDF series Das Erbe der Guldenburgs. In the last episode of the second season ("Das late Glück") they took part Girl You Know It's True and Baby don't forget my number on. It was first broadcast on February 17, 1990.

The first album All or nothing (1988) was successful across Europe. In the USA it was under the album title Girl You Know It's True Seven weeks at number 1 on the Billboard charts, which no other formation from Germany had achieved before. The title song of the same name was a cover version of the formation "Numarx" from 1987. Milli Vanilli's worldwide success continued to grow when one of the actual singers, rapper Charles Shaw, told a reporter the truth about the playback band. Shaw later withdrew his testimony when Farian paid him off.

For their second album, Milli Vanilli were with the 1990 Grammy Award awarded as "Best New Artist". Pilate compared himself to Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan.


After winning the Grammy, the duo hired US attorney John G. Branca to advise Farian on the production conditions for a second record. Farian refused and clarified the matter to the lawyer. The end of the band heralded the American tour of Pilatus and Morvan, which they took against Farian's will. During one performance, the playback tape stopped, which revealed to the audience that the two dancers did not sing themselves. On November 14, 1990, Farian announced that the two actually couldn't sing at all. They just moved their lips to the singing of Charles Shaw, Brad Howell, John Davis and others. Farian himself had also sung along, as was the case with his greatest success Boney M. Jodie Rocco and Linda Rocco acted as choristers. Linda Rocco became known as the lead singer of the disco band Masterboy in the late 1990s.

After the scandal

In the USA in particular, the scandal was covered intensively in the media. The group was stripped of the Grammy Award, the record company Arista Records deleted the duo from their repertoire and a US court guaranteed compensation for every buyer of one of the two albums.

Farian formed the musicians behind the band plus the singer Gina Mohammed under the name "The Real Milli Vanilli". The album The moment of truth reached the top 30 of the German album charts, but could not repeat the successes of the previous album. On the new album, Farian detailed the singers of the individual songs.

In the USA, Farian did not want to release the second album under a name associated with Milli Vanilli and instead formed the new group Try 'n' B, in which, however, two members of "The Real Milli Vanilli" were represented with Gina Mohammed and Ray Horton. supplemented by Kevin Weatherspoon and Tracy Ganser. The US version of the album - as Try 'n' B titled - contained seven slightly altered versions of songs from the album The Real Milli Vanilli. The international version of the album (Sexy eyes) contained only three new versions of the songs by The Real Milli Vanilli and eight new tracks, one of which is the Dr. Hook cover version Sexy eyes became a chart success in Germany.

The two lead singers Ray Horton and John Davis are touring the world as solo artists after the scandal and appear among other things with songs from "The Real Milli Vanilli". Ray Horton also pursues various duo projects with artists and producers such as B. Ozoda, Movetown, Red Lyard, and Sven Andrew.

Overview of band members of the different groups

Band nameActive timeMembersproducer
Empire bizarre1987–1988Fab Morvan, Rob PilateRalph Siegel
Milli Vanilli1988–1990dance only: Fab Morvan, Rob Pilatus; vocals only: Charles Shaw, Brad Howell, John Davis, Jodie Rocco, Linda Rocco, Frank Farian and othersFrank Farian
The Real Milli Vanilli1991Jodie Rocco, Linda Rocco, Gina Mohammed, Ray Horton and othersFrank Farian
Try ’n’ B1992Ray Horton, Kevin Weatherspoon, Jodie Rocco, Linda Rocco, Gina Mohammed, Tracy GanserFrank Farian
Rob & Fab1993Fab Morvan, Rob Pilate

Awards for music sales

Note: Awards in countries from the chart tables or chart boxes can be found in these.

Artist awards

RSH gold

  • 1989
  • 1991: in the category "German Production Male"


  • Milli Vanilli: From Fame to Shame, Documentation Germany 2015