Milli Vanilli will always be a part of pop-culture history. In February 1990, the duo of Fabrice Morvan (due this Saturday at Denver PrideFest at Civic Center Park) and Rob Pilatus won the Grammy for Best New Artist. Nine months later, the pair's lives and careers came crashing down when the Grammy was stripped from them after they revealed that they didn't sing one note on their album. The pressure and the shame was evidently too much for Pilatus, who took his own life in 1998.
Morvan, meanwhile, fought to put his life back together and never gave up on his passion for music. This weekend, for the first time in this country, Morvan will sing the Milli Vanilli songs as a solo act live at Denver Pride on Saturday, June 16. It's just one of the latest musical ventures for Morvan, who recently teamed up with DJ Muzikjunki as Fabulous Addiction. The act's first single, "See the Light," is now available.
At 46, Morvan has put the past behind and is anxious to take the stage in Denver and sing the songs that bring him joy, in spite of the pain. "I'm someone who found salvation through music," Morvan told us from his home in Amsterdam. "Music brought me back to life. Music brought me hope, gave me faith and gave me strength. It's the reason I'm here." Page down for our full conversation with him.
Westword: Would you call this performance in Denver a comeback?
Fab Morvan: Well, it's a return. It's a return to American soil. This is going to be very different. It's me singing live, and people are aware that I'm singing live. I'm alone, but I do have a troupe of dancers.
Have you been to Denver before?
A long time ago. It's very vague. Back in the day we'd go to a city, we'd go to the venue, we'd rehearse and then you go on. We didn't stay in the city too long. I heard that Denver is a fun city, but I never got to hang there.
What are you looking forward to the most?
It's a big crowd. I love performing on a big stage, and I haven't done it in a while. It's natural. I know there are going to be old fans. I look forward to entertaining them. I'm going to take them into a time machine, and we're going to rewind to 1989.
Thinking back to 1989, how do you feel the world is different today?
Wow! We are quicker. There is one thing that people seem to forget, and that is life and everything you try to accomplish is going to go as it goes. The new generation tends to be, "I want it here, and I want it now." When it comes to life, you can't order anything online. You have to wait and pay your dues. People are more impatient.
Recently on Twitter you wrote: "Growing and evolving is an everyday process. Just like Earth and everything on it." How have you evolved over the years?
During the process of putting yourself back together, you learn how strong or how weak you are. Once I was aware of that, my stride became quicker and quicker.
What are your strengths?
I can focus. I'm open to learning. When it comes to ego, if someone is better at something than I am, then just teach me. I'll be so driven to learn what it is I have to learn. I'm not afraid of learning. Learning is the basis of life.
What is one of your weaknesses?
Trusting people. I wish I could be better at that. I walk through life thinking people are guilty until proven innocent. I wish I could remove that.
This year we've lost some incredible talent, including Whitney Houston, Donna Summer and Robin Gibb. In 1998, your singing partner, Rob, died. Do you think of him often?
Yeah. I've started rehearsing the songs [for Pride], and he's right there, but he's not there. Music is like perfume. It takes you back.
When you think of him, what comes to mind?
He was someone who had no fear. Rollercoaster Rob.
When you look at a photograph of yourself during the days of Milli Vanilli, what do you see?
When I read myself it was all too much. Overwhelming. I also see the pressure of carrying this secret we had. This secret that was guarded and protected that eventually led us to the nightlife just to forget that we had this schizophrenic life, whether it was off stage or on stage.
What are your expectations for the concert in Denver?
I have no expectations. The only thing I want to do is to make sure people remember the performance.
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