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Obituary

Milli Vanilli Member Found Dead, Newspaper Reports

April 06, 1998|From Associated Press

HAMBURG, Germany — Rob Pilatus, a former model whose career with the pop music duo Milli Vanilli crashed in disgrace and drug addiction after it was revealed that the group lip-synched its songs, has died, Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday. He was 32.

Pilatus was alone when he died in a Frankfurt hotel room late Thursday after consuming alcohol and pills, the newspaper reported.

The newspaper quoted Milli Vanilli producer Frank Farian as saying Pilatus had been drinking Thursday evening, but "we didn't know . . . that he was taking tablets that are very dangerous with alcohol."

An autopsy was being conducted to determine the cause of death, the newspaper said.

Frankfurt police refused to comment.

Pilatus and his Milli Vanilli partner, Fabrice Morvan, won a 1989 Grammy for best new artist after releasing hits such as "Blame It on the Rain" and "All or Nothing."

But in late 1990, the performers were stripped of the award after it was revealed that neither actually sang on Milli Vanilli records; that was done by studio singers who were not credited.

Morvan said in an interview with the VH1 cable music network last year that he and Pilatus were deceived into fronting the group.

Pilatus had been in Germany since the fall undergoing a drug withdrawal program, the newspaper quoted Farian as saying.

The son of a U.S. soldier and a German mother, Pilatus was born in New York but grew up in Munich. He worked as a model and dancer before joining Morvan in 1988 to form Milli Vanilli.

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