He was one half of the ill-fated Milli Vanilli but his is a story of survival. Girl, you know Fab Morvan is true.
Fabrice Morvan was born in Paris in 1966 but took up residence in Germany as a young man, where he became a dancer and a model. He met fellow dancer and model Rob Pilatus in Munich and formed a duo who found themselves in Turkey on tour when they saw an ice cream advert that used the slogan ‘Milli Vanilli’! And so it was. Milli Vanilli met with producer Frank Farian, who signed them to Arista Records (the same label as Whitney Houston). They released their debut single, “Girl You Know It’s True”, in the Summer of 1988 and over the course of the next five months, it found its way into the top ten around the world, peaking at No.1 in Germany, No.2 in America and No.3 in the UK.
Before the years was out, a follow up, “Baby Don’t Forget My Number”, was released and this went to the very top of the US singles chart. Both tracks were featured on their debut album, “All Or Nothing”, which raked in Platinum and Gold discs around Europe, although it was less successful in the UK. Milli Vanilli hit back with a follow single, “Blame It On The Rain”, which also went to number one in America in the early months of 1989, perhaps it due to the fact that it was written by Diane Warren?(!) “Blame It On The Rain” was a top ten hit throughout mainland Europe, but it was the next single, “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You”, that would enjoy matched success with “Girl You Know It’s True” when it gave the boys a third consecutive US number one and found a new high of No.2 in the UK. While the hits kept coming from “All Or Nothing”, in America the album was released under the title of “Girl You Know It’s True”, where it topped the chart and reaped six Platinum discs for sales of 6,000,000 copies!
The title track saw release in early 1990 (US No.4) as Milli Vanilli were nominated and won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. It seemed almost impossible… Such success in just eighteen months. But were Milli Vanilli actually being true with us all? Had anyone actually seen Rob and Fab sing live at all? Questions and then rumours began to be asked during 1990, just what was going on? All was revealed that Summer when ‘confessions’ were made that Rob and Fab did NOT actually sing on any of the records! A number of sessions singers, Charles Shaw, Brad Howell, John Davis, Jodie Rocco, Linda Rocco and Frank Farian himself were actually Milli Vanilli. The whole set up had been fabricated and to many involved, a surprise that it had actually been believed for so long. The Grammy was returned and Milli Vanilli were shamed. Rob and Fab were dismissed and ten million record buyers were offered a refund on any Milli Vanilli record purchased. Those who had actually sung on the records were not done, however, and in 1991, the returned as ‘The Real Milli Vanilli’ with a new single, “Keep On Running”, and a new album “The Moment Of Truth”.
The Real Milli Vanilli did not find the same support or audience that had flocked to buy their earlier work and very quickly, retired from the music business and brushed the whole affair under the carpet. But what of Rob and Fab? They were not done. In an effort to clear their names, they regrouped, as ‘Rob And Fab’, and in 1993 recorded themselves, the single “We Can Get It On”, which was the lead track from their self-titled ‘debut’ album, “Rob & Fab”. Both were bypassed and sadly dismissed by critics and former fans alike. After just twelve months together, Rob and Fab separated. Fab continued to be active in the music business, working as a session singer and musician as well as a radio DJ in Los Angeles. The road Rob Pilatus took was a very different one. Having spent time in a US jail for robbery and vandalism, he returned to Germany where he was unable to rebuild his life. Both Rob and Fab were reunited in 1998 with the promise of new music but on the night of 3rd April, Rob was found dead in his hotel room from a drug overdose. He was just 32 years of age.
Since then, Fab has remained based in America, working as a producer and a DJ and in 2003, he wrote, produced, recorded and released his first solo album, “Love Revolution”. In 2012, he formed the band Fabulous Addiction, releasing the single “See The Light” the same year. He has gained a reputation as one of the most in-demand DJ’s for private hire around The States as well as in Amsterdam, where he makes frequent return trips to. For many years, the Milli Vanilli story has eluded the storytellers and film makers, but finally in 2021, the screenplay was written for ‘Catch Me If You Can’, the REAL story of Milli Vanilli, with the session singers themselves acting as associate producers with input from Rob Pilatus’ sister. It is not known if Fab Morvan has offered his services or approves of the picture, which will see cinema release in 2023.
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