John Davis a real voice behind Milli Vanilli’s songs, has died due to Covid-19 at the age of 66.
This news was confirmed by his daughter Jasmin Davis on a Facebook post.
His daughter Jasmin posted on Facebook- “Unfortunately my dad passed away this evening through the coronavirus. 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.”
Milli Vanilli was a German-French act fronted by Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan that fell apart after it appeared that the men had not sung on their records. The singing was actually done by the vocalists behind the scenes including Davis.
Brad Howel and John Davis were part of a group member of 5 who sung for the duo. The duo won the Grammy in 1989 for the best new artist but lost it soon after the truth came out. But he (Davis) continued his singing after the scandal that too as a lead performer this time.
He was born in South Carolina and moved to Germany where he first worked as a bass player before becoming a singer.
Davis also sang with renowned stars such as Luther Vandross and performed at concerts around the world. And he also composed music for films.
Their debut album, titled “All Or Nothing” was released in Europe in 1988 and was repackaged as “Girl You Know It’s True” in 1989 in the U.S. The album was a smash hit, selling 11 million copies. “Girl You Know It’s True,” “Blame It On The Rain” and “Babe Don’t Forget My Number” were the popular tracks of the album.
But a broken backtrack during a performance later in that year revealed the truth of Milli Vanilli that frontmen Pilatus and Morvan were never the real singers.
“The Moment of Truth” was meant to be the second Milli Vanilli album, but the scandal led Farian to repackage the group as The Real Milli Vanilli, with Davis, fellow original singer Brad Howell and other band members on the cover. The album was released in Europe, Brazil, Asia, and New Zealand. The album reached the top 20 in Germany in 1991. One of the singles from the album, “Keep on Running,” climbed to 4th position in the German charts.
Davis remained in Germany, most recently living in Furth, and later performed alongside Morvan as part of Face Meets Voice. He has also performed with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, Eric Burdon of The Animals, and German star Uwe Ochsenknecht. Pilatus died at the age of 32 from a drug overdose in 1998.
Morvan wrote on Twitter- “R.I.P Brother @JohnDavisRMV. Thanks for all the love you’ve spread throughout the years, from the edge of the stage. 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.”
Jasmin Davis wrote on a GoFundMe page- “Last night we lost: a father, a brother, a grandfather, a friend…and one of a kind musician. We are deeply saddened by his passing and will miss him dearly, especially [his] smile and laughter.”