Finding His Own Voice
From a humble upbringing in Paris, Fab Morvan lived out his childhood dreams, becoming a global rock star with his best friend, Rob Pilatus, in Milli Vanilli, one of the most controversial and best-selling duos in pop history. Their visions of fame and fortune came tumbling down around them when it was revealed they didn’t sing on their own hit albums, and the resultant furor led them to return their Grammy. Among the most vilified and misunderstood groups in entertainment history as the surviving member of Milli Vanilli, Fab Morvan uses both words and music to tell his side of the story, how he overcame a very public humiliation to persevere and succeed in living a creative, rewarding life. In this talk, he’ll share the philosophy that enabled him to not just survive but thrive.
Don’t call it a comeback.
The Paris-born Morvan’s musical background started as a teen when he gravitated towards British and American sounds: the Beatles, Queen, the Jackson 5, and Bob Marley. Moving to Germany at 18, Fab was exposed to the funk, rap, and soul of Run DMC, Prince, the Gap Band, Parliament-Funkadelic, and Sly & the Family Stone.
It was in Munich where he met Rob Pilatus at a local club, and the two started a rock and soul band together, naming it Milli Vanilli. The two penniless kids jumped at the chance to sign a contract, and within months they had created a captivating stage show that would prove to enthrall millions.
Selling more than seven million copies of their debut album, Girl You Know It’s True, in the US alone, the duo went on to MTV stardom, becoming one of the biggest musical acts of the ’90s, with worldwide sales of more than 30 million singles and 14 million albums. Along the way, the two were involved in a notorious lip-synching scandal that led to them publicly returning their Grammy for Best New Artist. The premiere episode of the VH1 series Behind the Music featured an episode spotlighting the duo’s story, which turned out to be one of the highest-rated segments of the series.
Morvan took those experiences, both the triumphs and the tragedies, and essentially became a private citizen in his adopted hometown of Amsterdam, still performing and making music and entertaining around the world, but no longer at the center of the media spotlight. He refuses to go quietly, and with a story that made its mark in pop culture history, he has now emerged for the first time to tell his side of the story, what it meant to become an overnight superstar, the a stunning fall from grace, and the ultimate loss of his musical partner and best friend, Rob Pilatus. Fab maintains his optimistic view of the world and continues to create music and entertain audiences. His story, as told in his own words and music, provides a classic tale of redemption and offers a previously unheard side to a tale told by a completely biased media and “outraged” record industry complicit with their demise.
The Milli Vanilli biopic is also the subject of a major motion picture, with an original screenplay by longtime fan and Steven Spielberg collaborator Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal).
Our speakers get attention.
Mouthing off: the unlikely rehabilitation of lip-syncing with Fab MorvanFrontmen Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus were great dancers, sure, and they looked great in their oversized shoulder pads.