On today’s edition of stars whose careers faded is the group Milli Vanilli.
Theirs is a shameful story and has gone down in history as the funniest music scandal.
By the way if you’ve never heard of Milli Vanilli, it’s likely that your parents hadn’t met when they were big, or you were still in diapers.
And that’s no shade because 1990 was their year, the year these German boys won a Grammy for their first album.
You know life is good when you are just two unknown black friends living in abject poverty, hopeless, luckily discovered by a music producer who offers you a recording contract.
And two years later you’re proudly holding up a Grammy before the stars you once looked up to.
However, here’s the crazy back story.
When these guys named Rob and Fabrice were signed to their contract by a German music producer named Frank, he told them that they won’t sing a word on the album titled (Girl You Know It’s True), which he had already prepared skeletally.
I’m sure the boys looked at themselves in utter confusion, scratching their heads, wondering what else they were there for.
Frank’s target was to create a group that’ll break into the American market.
What caught his attention about the 22-year-old boys was purely their striking pretty looks, which fitted into his plans. Lol.
As for the singing, the 5 hired backup singers would do the job.
All the pretty boys had to do was fake the lead and learn some dance moves.
Rob and Fab insisted that they could sing but each time they sang Frank was like,
“Errr… That’s not good enough.”
“Sir? Let’s do one more take.”
“Enough boys! I gat no time for this. 1.5 Million, or back to frying puff puff at McDonalds?”
There and then they agreed to be mercenaries for fame and of course, the mulla!
Frank’s dreams came true shortly after.
The group Milli Vanilli would go on to sell over 10 million records worldwide, perform in shows and go on successful tours, all the while lip-synching to backing tracks that they didn’t sing a line on.
It was a win-win for everybody involved in the scam including the real singers, they were unbelievably rich.
Frank, the master planner, also made his boys wear wigs like the ones they have on in the picture, to make them more attractive.
That worked too.
Because the world thought they were the most handsome long-haired pop stars on the planet.
In no time the group celebrated their Grammy win for Best New Artist.
Later that year they were to perform at a live MTV show.
It was during the performance that their village people remembered to pour sand in their garri.
The backing track had issues and started to skip, replaying a line repeatedly.
The boys froze in shock, realizing they were busted they ran off stage.
That was the end of their career.
Trust American media to leave no stone unturned as they investigated Milli Vanilli’s songs.
At some point Frank gave up and confessed that Milli Vanilli were not the real singers of every song the world knew them for.
Four days later, Grammy people came back for their award, “mgbo, give us back our gramophone, ole”.
The scammers were divided by the exposed secret and decided to wash their dirty linens in public.
First, Milli Vanilli went on interviews to defend themselves, saying they could sing but were manipulated by their producer Frank to dress up and dance.
They sang to some audiences but their real voices left much to be desired.
The 5 backup singers hired for the real job also came out to claim their relevance on the album.
They said it was hard to watch their voices make two pretty boys extremely famous worldwide, but the money paid for their silence was good.
Meanwhile, Frank who masterminded it all expressed that it was strictly business for him, even though he knew it could get them all in trouble.
That the boys running their mouths were desperate for fame and would be so broke if not for him.
He said they were terrible singers, and couldn’t have improved because all they wanted to do was party and sleep all day.