The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
Baby Yoga, aka Swinging Your Kid Around Your Head
The Great Wall of China Hoax, 1899
The Man-Eating Tree of Madagascar Hoax, 1874
Use your left ear to detect lies
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
What do the lines on Solo cups mean?
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
The Lovely Feejee Mermaid, 1842
Milli Vanilli, 1990

Milli Vanilli accepting a Grammy Award
In 1988 the German record producer Frank Farian discovered Robert Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan (Rob and Fab) while they were living in Munich. Impressed by their charisma and chiselled good looks, Farian formed them into a pop group that he dubbed 'Milli Vanilli.'

Their success was almost instantaneous. They rocketed to stardom on the strength of their hit singles, Girl You Know It's True and Blame It on the Rain. Their debut album sold over seven million copies, and they won a 1989 grammy as best new artist.

But there was an ugly truth lurking behind the attractive façade presented by Rob and Fab: they possessed absolutely no musical abilities whatsoever. They couldn't play instruments, write music, or sing. All of their songs had been created in a studio by professional musicians. Whenever Rob and Fab performed on stage, they simply lip-synched the words.

Embarrassed by the situation, Rob and Fab confronted Farian and insisted that he allow them to sing on their next album. Farian, however, had no interest in agreeing to this, so on November 14, 1990 he revealed in an interview that their act was a sham. The news rocked the music industry. To many cultural critics, Rob and Fab's deception seemed to be a perfect representation of the artificial, pre-packaged nature of the pop music industry itself.

Rob and Fab bravely tried to soldier on after the revelation. They recorded an album using their own names, but the effort failed. Scorned by the music industry and ridiculed by the public, they drifted into the half-light of infamy and notoriety. In 1998 Rob Pilatus apparently succumbed to the cloud of censure hanging over him. He was found dead in a hotel room due to a drug overdose. He was 32 years old.

Links and References
  • Larry McShane, "Milli Vanilli Is Really a Marcel Marceau Act Music: Another group recorded the vocals that the 1989 Grammy-winning duo simply lip-sync, their producer says." Associated Press, November 15, 1990.
Categories: Music, 1990-1999
This article portrays that Faviar (sp?) revealed the truth on a talk show because the guys wanted to sing on their next album and he didn't want them to. Ut...wasn't it a song skipping during a live performance that got them caught???
Posted by Leah  in  Hawaii  on  Fri Mar 27, 2009  at  09:55 PM
i don,t think it matter if they were not singing. I think it was good music and so did millions of other people that grew up with them .
Posted by eva  in  toledo ohio  on  Tue May 26, 2009  at  10:14 PM
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