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Monday, April 12, 2010

Music Monday: Don't Forget My Number by Milli Vanilli

"Life, like a river on its way to the sea, is fed and joined by small streams of love and kindness so that it grows fuller and stronger on the way"

Remember last week I mentioned that I had a tough time choosing between Terence Trent D'Arby and Milli Vanilli's videos to post for my Music Monday. So as eager as before, here for this week, I am now featuring Milli Vanilli's once very famous beautiful song entitled "Don't Forget My Number" for your listening pleasure for this week Music Monday.

Although finally it became a big controversy due to their lips synced, somehow Milli Vanilli's fans around the world still love and support them and you can take me as one of them. I found out that the actual fact is that they were not given a chance to sing themselves, they were only 18 years of age when they signed the contracts and were fooled by this greedy producer who used them because they were good looking models and were excellent dancers and performers. They actually did not read the contract and signed it without a lawyer or even a Manager around. Moreover the contracts were written in German language.

One day when they were found out that they were not the actual singers, they were humiliated so badly especially when the Awards won were stripped off from them. Poor Rob could not take it anymore till he took his own life, it was indeed a big price to pay that cost Rob's life! You can read more about them in their biography below, so in the meantime, I hope you are entertained with this song accompanied by their great performance. I find them to be such great entertainers and still like them! They have stolen the hearts of billions of people around the world !

I was also taken by surprise while checking through some videos to find that Fab Morvan has a good voice and he actually can sing. I will also include a video of Fab Morvan singing with his actual voice and then you can judge for yourself whether he can sing or not. It is such a sad and tragic ending when Rob took his own life.

So enjoy both videos with a couple of other songs in both videos.


Fab Morvan singing "It's Your Life" (Dedicated to his partner Rob Pilatus

Milli Vanilli was a pop vocal group that formed in Germany in 1988. The face of the band was composed of models Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, whom producer Frank Farian had chosen because he felt the real singers were unmarketable. The duo only appeared on the album cover, and lip-synced to pre-recorded studio singers in music videos and in concert.

In 1990, they were awarded the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, but later became the only act in history to have their Grammy stripped from them when it was revealed that they had not been involved in the creation of their breakthrough album, Girl You Know It’s True.

In 1998, Rob Pilatus was found dead in a hotel near Frankfurt.

German record producer Frank Farian sits in his cluttered office near Frankfurt, Germany, mulling the Great Milli Vanilli Caper. It was Farian, 49, who produced the group’s Grammy-earning album, Girl You Know It’s True, then signed dancers Robert Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan to lip-sync the vocals for the LP’s videos. And it was Farian—judging by what his producer is saying now—who witnessed some of the most bizarre moments his fake-singer scam inspired.

Take that day in October when Pilatus, his ego inflated by the album’s success, called to ask for a remix on an upcoming single. “He said, ‘Make my voice louder,’” recalls Farian, “which was funny, when you think of it now, because it wasn’t his voice.”

Soon after, of course, Pilatus and Morvan were exposed as fakes and sent packing off to Palookaville. And now? Why, it’s the real Millis stepping forth to get their due. Brad Howell, 46, and John Davis, 39, the expatriate Americans who were the principal vocalists on that original 10 million-selling LP, are about to appear (on disc and video) as singers in a new-and-for-real Milli Vanilli. This time they’re teaming with Gina Mohammed, an 18-year-old daughter of Americans living in Germany; Icy Bro (real name Leonard Slater), a 20ish rapping GI stationed in Frankfurt; and Ray Horton, 25, another expatriate rock und roller. The album of newly written, ‘60s-influenced soul music—titled, appropriately, Moment of Truth—arrives this month and has already attracted almost 3 million advance orders, boasts Farian, who is again the producer.

For Howell and Davis, such high visibility might seem strange indeed. Howell came to Germany in 1966 as a drummer with Wilson Pickett’s band, decided to stay and now lives in Offenbach. Having collaborated with Farian for more than a decade as vocalist, percussionist and songwriter (he wrote four of the tunes on Girl You Know It’s True), he is a longtime studio player and admits his middle-aged spread would limit MTV appeal. The idea of stand-ins like Pilatus and Morvan lip-syncing to his voice on videos didn’t seem all that unusual. “I thought, why not let the young boys please the young people?” Howell says.

Davis, who is married to a German and has two children, was originally stationed in Germany with the Army in the 1970s. A bassist, guitarist and singer, he is another veteran studio man accustomed to his role. “You get used to it, ” he says. “You’d see this guy playing the bass on TV and then realize it’s not him playing, but you.”

The ploy is an old favorite of Farian’s, who is a former chef, singer and disco manager. Born Franz Reuther in Kirn, Germany, he produced a 1976 disco hit titled “Daddy Cool,” in which a dancer lip-synced on TV to Farian’s vocals. “The practice of borrowing voices has a long history,” he says unashamedly. “There are plenty of singers who can sing as well as Prince, but no one looks as good as Prince. That’s the problem. Without TV, without videos and MTV, you cannot do business.

Even so, Farian contends that it was Pilatus and Morvan who first approached him looking for work as song-and-dance surrogates. “They told me if I had good music to perform, they were there,” he says. “They had made the same offer to someone else only six months before.”

With Pilatus and Morvan signed, Farian then completed taping the LP’s vocals under security as tight as a NATO spy maneuver. Howell and Davis were allowed in and out of the recording studio only under cover of darkness, and they each recorded separately, unaware of the other’s role. Even Gina Mohammed, who recorded backup vocals on weekends, ended up believing that Pilatus and Morvan were actually the stars. She later appeared on a German TV show with the pair and says that even “when I watched them getting the Grammy, I still thought they were the real Milli Vanilli.”

Meanwhile, Pilatus and Morvan were kept just as much in the dark. Although they had met Howell in the studio once, neither had ever met Davis. The latter recalls being in Munich one day last year when the pair were busily autographing photos for fans. Davis puckishly requested one and says that Pilatus, when he handed it over, “did not know my face. I wasn’t hurt. It was very funny.”

But the joke had worn thin by last year’s Grammy Awards when Pilatus and Morvan, who owed so much to so many, thanked no one at all. “If you have any kind of respect for people and their feelings,” says Davis, who watched the broadcast from his apartment in Nuremberg, “and you know other people are making you rich and they are not getting so rich like you, you can at least say thank you.” Howell concurs. “They didn’t have to mention names,” he says, “just the people behind the scenes.”

Even more upsetting was the faux Millis’ decision to begin a 108-city tour last March. “I sent them a telegram forbidding them to do it,” says Farian, “because I know they wouldn’t be able to last.”

For his part, Davis now ways he may sue the pair for lost income. “They were allowed to use our voices on the record, but not on the tour,” he snaps. “Here I am with a wife and two kids, and they’re tearing up hotels at the cost of thousands of dollars.”

Farian believes the grand illusion failed because “the success was too big. The situation became monstrous…[Pilatus and Morvan] wanted to sing on the second album. Their voices aren’t that good. I couldn’t fulfill that condition.” In November, after learning about an upcoming book on the pair, Farian finally stepped forward and revealed all. “I’m relieved that the truth has come out,” says the belatedly contrite producer. “It was a crazy idea, and I’m not going to do it again.”

The fact is, of course, he may not have a choice—at least this time. The real Millis, with fame finally in their grasp and plans for a U.S. tour in the works, insist they’ll hold him to his vow. “The dancers are gone,” proclaims Howell. “Here come the singers.”

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Monica said...

:* :* :*

Monica said...

hello Lily! :)

Monica said...

oh R loves this song- "Don't Forget My Number"! :-D :-D

Monica said...

happy MM Lily! :* :*

Mariuca said...

=-O =-O =-O

Mariuca said...

Woo hoo I still made it! :* :* :*

Mariuca said...

I remember the controversy ha ha but this song was still happening, love it! :* :* :*

Mariuca said...

Happy MM sweetie, love ur selection dis week too! ..As always! ;) ;) ;)

Lil said...

:* :* :*

Lil said...

Hello Monica, nice of you to visit me again. ;)

Lil said...

Good song but very sad indeed if you really truly know what actually happened. Fab & Rob did not meant to fool anybody, they signed the contracts when they were so young without the presence of a lawyer or a manager and did not really read the contents. These guys were good looking models and were good dancers and performers. The greedy producer used them for the purpose of fast popularity on their looks and performances and Fab & Rob were not given a chance to sing except to lip sync. In the actual fact, Fab can sing and has quite a good voice if you care to listen to the second video, but it is a pity no chance of hearing Rob's voice since he became broken hearted and finally took his own life after all the humiliations. Soooo sad, when I hear all the Milli Vanilli's songs I still connect myself to them and not to the actual singers and I am sure all the fans do the same! Perhaps one day I will feature the real singers for you guys.
Today, 3:52:33 AM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate :'( :'( :'(

Lil said...

=-O =-O =-O =-O Hello my dearest Marzie, I'm surprised myself, tak per lah bagi chance dgn Monica. Your badge will still be up dear as usual.

Happy Music Monday dear. :) ;) 8-) 8-) :* :* :* :-D

Lil said...

Yes dear, you still made it as usual :* :* :* :* & hugzzzz

Lil said...

Ya lah even with the great grandmother controversy many still like the songs, if you go to YouTube and read some of the comments there, you will be surprised to note that many still into Milli Vanilli and I believe they connect themselves to Fab & Rob and not the real singers, hahaha.... :* :* :*

Lil said...

Happy Music Monday to you too and I am glad you both love my selection for this week and you Marzie has quite a similar taste of music and songs with me. ;) ;) ;)

Marzie, I don't know why my link kept on appearing not valid when I try to link this page to LJ's Linky. I will try again, if not I really need her to assist me this time.

See you around ... wah! you guys macam janji pula, tak tidor lagi ke, as for me I think I will wait for Subor and will sleep after my prayers.

Good morning, sweet dreams and sleep tight.. :* :* :* :* :*

Lil said...

Happy Music Monday Monica dear,
Good Morning, sweet dreams and sleep tight, it's kind of late already, what are you two guys doing awake so late, for me got no choice always too much things to do in the day time. so stealing time now to complete what was left unfurnished!
:) ;) 8-) 8-) :* :* :* :-D

Lil said...

Fab and Rob did not mean .....

Anonymous said...

Yes, really. And I have faced it. We can communicate on this theme.

Anonymous said...

At all I do not know, as to tell

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