Milli Vanilli: Girl I'm Gonna Miss You

WRITERS: Frank Farian, Dietmar Kawohl, Peter Bischof-Fallenstein
PRODUCER: Frank Farian
TIME: 4:19
Arista AS1-9870

WRITERS: Farian, Wilder, Nail
PRODUCER: Frank Farian
TIME: 4:30

Debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 5, 1989 and peaked at #1 on September 23, 1989.

Here is the complete chart run on the Hot 100: 53, 35, 28, 19, 12, 7, 2, 1, 1, 3, 3, 14, 21, 31, 39, 54, 64, 75, 82, 87, 95, 95

British single (Cooltempo COOL 191) was released after BLAME IT ON THE RAIN in England. GIRL debuted on the UK pop charts on September 30, 1989 and peaked at #2 on October 28, 1989.

German single entered the charts on October 5, 1989 and peaked at #2, spending 18 weeks in the top 20.

Review from August 5, 1989 Billboard magazine under "Pop Picks", sharing page space with reviews of Soul II Soul's "Back To Life", Eddie Murphy's "Put Your Mouth On Me", Neneh Cherry's "Kisses On The Wind", Was (Not Was)'s "Boy's Gone Crazy", and Lil Louis's "French Kiss", among others:

Latest release in the act's five-word-title series is a simple, commercially-tailored, rap/pop ballad.

The complete entry in Fred Bronson's The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits (1997, Billboard Books):

Milli Vanilli (a name that supposedly means "positive energy" in Turkish, but perhaps was just a defunct dance club in Berlin) scored their second number one single in America with "Girl I'm Gonna Miss You" - even as rumors persisted that Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan did not really sing on their records.

In a prophetic interview, Rob told People magazine, "Maybe we are going to stop being Milli Vanilli and go do our own music. Our people didn't want to have us so big as we are now. They created a monster."

Eight months later, those words had new meaning. Frank Farian, producer of the first Milli Vanilli album, called a press conference on November 14, 1990, to confirm the long-standing rumors that Rob and Fab did not sing a note as Milli Vanilli. He made the announcement after Rob and Fab had told him they wanted to actually sing on the second Milli Vanilli album and Farian had denied their request.

A day after Farian held his press conference, Rob and Fab spoke to Chuck Philips of the Los Angeles Times. "I feel like a mosquito being squeezed," Pilatus complained. "The last two years of our lives have been a total nightmare. We've had to lie to everybody. We are true singers, but that maniac Frank Farian would never allow us to express ourselves."

Farian (real name: Franz Reuther) reported to Marc Fisher of The Washington Post: "I've never heard such a bad singer. They wanted to sing. They wanted to write songs. It never happened. They went instead to discos till 4:00 A.M. and slept all day." Farian said that he couldn't understand why people were upset at the revelation. "What was the betrayal? Did anyone in America believe that the Village People or the Monkees really sang themselves? The Archies? Please. Everyone's been doing it for 25 years."

The original singers turned out to be Brad Howell and John Davis, two former American soldiers who were not as photogenic as Rob and Fab. Howell gave his age as 45. The rapper on "Girl You Know It's True" was Charles Shaw, who had claimed to be the real Milli Vanilli as early as the fall of 1989, but then retracted his statement. At the end of 1990, Shaw claimed through friends that Farian had threatened him and banned him from his studio forever.

"I told Charles, 'You may not tell anyone you rapped,'" Farian told Fisher. "But threatening calls, that's something else. That he may not work here anymore, that's my decision. I told Shaw I wouldn't work with him if he said he was the voice of Milli Vanilli."

On November 19, 1990, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences took back the Grammy Milli Vanilli won as Best New Artist. It was the first time in the 33-year history of the Grammys that an award had been rescinded. Academy President Mike Greene commented to Philips in the Los Angeles Times: "I hope this action signals loudly and clearly to producers, record companies, and packagers that the academy cares deeply about this issue. I hope this revocation will make the industry think long and hard before anyone ever tries to pull something like this again." Greene said NARAS would not physically remove the trophy but would expect it to be returned. Rob and Fab's attorney, Alan Mintz, said before Greene made his announcement that the duo would return their statue.

When NARAS first announced the action it would take, there was no decision on what to do with the trophy. Rob and Fab suggested it be awarded to Howell, Davis and Shaw. Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times listed all the options, including calling a new vote. He urged the Academy to present the Award to the runner-up in the voting - either Neneh Cherry, the Indigo Girls, Soul II Soul or Tone Loc. In the end, the Academy took the option of presenting no award in the Best New Artist category for 1989.

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