John Davis, Real Milli Vanilli Singer, Dies From COVID at 66

by Jamila Lizet White

June 1, 2021

Photo by Sebastian Willnow/Getty Images

John Davis, one of the voices behind the infamous lip-synching pop duo Milli Vanilli, has died of coronavirus. He was 66.

Posed portrait of the band ‘The Real Milli Vanilli’; Brad Howell, John Davis, Ray Horton and Gina Mohammed, circa 1990-1992. (Photo by Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty Images)

“My dad passed away this evening through the coronavirus,” Davis’ daughter Jasmin wrote in a Facebook post on May 24. “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.”

Davis passed away on Monday (May 24) in Nuremberg, Germany where he had lived.

Credited with backup vocals for Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan, the German-French duo Milli Vanilli, their debut album “Girl You Know It’s True” sold over 11 million copies and won a Grammy for best new artist in 1990.

When it was revealed that Pilatus and Morvan weren’t the real singers, they were stripped of their Grammy. A year following, they rebranded themselves as Rob and Fab but never achieved the same level of success.

Davis was born in Anderson, South Carolina but mainly lived in Germany after being stationed there with the U.S. Army in the 1970s. German music producer Frank Farian selected him to sing on a project in the 1980s. As a guest on The Hustle podcast in April, he disclosed how he discovered his music was being lip-synched when he was “sitting at home watching my TV, and I saw Fab singing ‘Girl I’m Gonna Miss You.” Despite not achieving A-list stardom, he “made a lot of money” from the recordings and lived a comfortable life.
The sophomore album, “The Moment of Truth,” was meant to be the second album but was repacked as The Real Milli Vanilli with Davis, Brad Howell, and the members on the cover.
“R.I.P brother @johndavisrmv Can’t believe it, thanks for all the love you’ve spread through out the years, from the edge of the stage,” tweeted Morvan. “You and I had a great run, it was fun to celebrate life with the help of music. Peace one love your voice will live on. Play it loud everybody.”
We’re keeping him and his family in our prayers.
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