Milli Vanilli, 1989
And then came Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, a cautionary tale for a generation of young musicians. The problem with this duo wasn’t that they were lip-synching, per se — it was that they were lip-synching to tracks they hadn’t actually recorded in the first place. While this embarrassing incident at a concert in Connecticut wasn’t enough to keep the group from winning a Best New Artist Grammy the following year, the truth about Morvan and Pilatus’s vocals soon came out — resulting in a disgraceful scandal that destroyed both performers’ careers.
“To me, all the grumbling about whether people are singing live or not I think was started by live musicians who are out of work,” Madge told MTV’s Kurt Loder in 1991. In the interview, she freely admitted to lip-synching during her groundbreaking Blond Ambition Tour — saying that she cared more about creating theatrical spectacles than singing live. Clips from the concert make it seem like she succeeded on that front.
NEXT: Whitney and the “sorry I lip-synched” jig heard ’round the world