By Jared Alexander, TheGrio
Per recent reports, John Davis, the real voice behind the infamous R&B duo Milli Vanilli, has passed away from COVID-19. He was 66.
Per Variety, Davis’ daughter, Jasmin, took to Facebook to confirm the death of her father.
“My dad passed away this evening through the coronavirus,” she wrote 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.”
Known for their smash-hit songs “Girl You Know It’s True,” “Blame It On The Rain” and “Babe Don’t Forget My Number,” the German-French R&B duo exploded onto the music scene in the late ’80s. Consisting of singers Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, plus producer Frank Farian, they had three straight number-one singles alongside their debut 1989 LP, Girl You Know It’s True. Shortly after their explosive popularity, however, the group came under fire after appearing to lip sync during a summer MTV performance.
Despite having won Best New Artist at the 1990 Grammy Awards, Milli Vanilli’s prestigious award was eventually revoked eight months later, per Rolling Stone, “the only time in the awards’ history that a Grammy win was taken away from an artist.” Farian had revealed that singers Brad Howell, Charles Shaw and Davis were the real voices singing Milli Vanilli’s hits, not Morvan and Pilatus.
Following the shocking scandal, the original songs were eventually rereleased under the name Real Milli Vanilli, with Davis and Howell billed as the singers of the group. Per Rolling Stone, “The Moment of Truth — the Real Milli Vanilli’s only album — was never released in America.”
Despite the subsequent scandal, Pilatus’ drug-overdose death in 1998 and the short-lived life of Real Milli Vanilli, Morvan and Davis seem to have enjoyed a solid relationship throughout the years. At one point, Davis stayed with Morvan in Germany, and the duo worked as the musical act Face Meets Voice. They also reunited in 2015, performing together on a German television show.
Morvan reacted on Twitter to Davis’ passing, thanking the singer for “all the love” he spread.
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. 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. pic.twitter.com/tlvSEiYoS4
— Fab Morvan (@fabmorvan) May 24, 2021
“R.I.P BROTHER @JohnDavisRMV,” he wrote in his tweet. “CAN’T BELIEVE IT, THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE YOU’VE SPREAD THROUGH OUT 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.”
The official Milli Vanilli Twitter account also blasted its condolences.
“It’s a sad day….. RIP John,” the tweet reads. “We wouldn’t be who we are without you,” it offers, along with prayer hands.
This article originally appeared on TheGrio.