John Davis, Real Voice Behind Milli Vanilli, Dead of COVID at 66
By Paige Gawley
Nico Schimmelpfennig/picture alliance via Getty Images
John Davis has died at age 66. The singer, who was one of the real vocalists behind R&B duo Milli Vanilli, died of COVID-19 on Monday, his daughter, Jasmin Davis, revealed on Facebook.
"Unfortunately my dad passed away this evening through the coronavirus," she wrote on Monday alongside a video of her dad singing. "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," she continued. "We will miss him dearly."
She concluded the post by promising to keep fans "posted," before asking that they "respect the family’s privacy in this time."
In addition to the Facebook post, Davis' daughter started a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of his funeral. It has raised more than $14,000 as of Thursday morning.
"Last night we lost: a father, a brother, a grandfather, a friend...and one of a kind musician," she wrote on the fundraiser's page. "We are deeply saddened by his passing and will miss him dearly, especially smile and laughter."
"Through corona a funeral is even more expensive and for us not alone manageable. But we would like to help him to have one last performance, with people he loved and got loved from. The grand finale!" Jasmin continued. "We would appreciate it very much if you could kindly help us with a donation. We thank you so much in advance."
Davis was a backup singer for Milli Vanilli. The band found success with its 1989 debut album, Girl You Know It's True, which earned them a GRAMMY for Best New Artist the following year.
That award was rescinded, though, when it was discovered that the group's frontmen, Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus, were actually lip syncing to vocals by Davis and other backup singers.
After the end of Milli Vanilli, Davis started a band of his own, The Real Milli Vanilli, which released an album, The Moment of Truth, in 1991.
Following Davis' death, Morvan paid tribute to him on Twitter, writing, "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."
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