In 1990, pop group Milli Vanilli was stripped of its Grammy award after it was revealed that frontmen Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan hadn't sung a single note of their hit songs.
Meanwhile, the real singers behind the hits watched the group crumble from behind the scenes. "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" tracked down Milli Vanilli's female backup singers Jodie Rocco and Linda Rocco along with male leads Brad Howell, Charles Shaw and John Davis to hear their side of the story.
"It was a common practice for producers, singers, musicians, record companies to have somebody else fronting a very good vocalist," Jodie says. "It was a no-brainer."
To keep the secret, Jodie says she and Linda were forbidden to be seen with frontmen Rob and Fab. "The producer, manager, record company were all terrified that somebody might slip," she says.
"It's like working with smoke and mirrors, nobody knew what was going on for a long time," Linda says. "David Copperfield couldn't have done it better, it was amazing."
Brad, who was in his forties at the time, says he was fine with making music behind the scenes. Charles, on the other hand, felt conflicted.
"You have two sides," Charles says. "One side, you feel good because you're saying, 'My voice done made it. Number one, worldwide.' But you're still sitting in the back and saying, 'That's not what I really wanted. I wanted to make it.'"
Charles was fired from the group after Milli Vanilli's producer, Frank Farian, suspected him of talking about his role in the group. Quietly, he brought in another singer, John Davis, to replace him.
"The producer is a god," Jodie says. "He's one of the top producers in the world, even today. You don't spit into the wind. You don't screw around with this producer, you just don't."
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