The issue there is that their performances were perceived as disingenuous, so people felt ripped-off, which is why there was the public backlash. People can laugh at live lip-sync fails & shrug it off as just part of show-biz, but there was an authenticity failure where they were not just pretending to sing, but never sang at all. Similar to a recent misbranding in the food industry, where the maker of "TGI Friday's Mozzarella Sticks" got sued after it came out that there was, in fact, ZERO mozzarella & only
cheddar cheese in their product:
A Chicago federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit against Inventure Foods could move forward after a woman claimed the company "misbranded" its "TGI Fridays Mozzarella Snack Sticks," which do not include mozzarella cheese
The whole backstory on Milli Vanilli is actually pretty crazy:
Dancers Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan brought the band's songs to life — without singing a single note.
1. The song was already popular before
they attached the faces to it. They were offered $4k each to become the faces of the voices.
2. "Jens Gad, who played guitar and co-wrote several songs, didn’t even cross paths with the faces of the music he was working on: “We never met Rob and Fab, there was no need for them to be in the studio.""
3. Their team went through elaborate efforts to keep things a secret. They did appearances, but never sang live. They showed up to the studio, but kept everyone else out, citing "creative professional distance". The actual voice (Howell) was taken to the studio at night, with no staff around, with the windows shut. They brought in dialect specialists to help with their French & German accents to try to help them sound more convincing as the original singers.
To their credit, they DID get back on stage & finish the faulty performance; I can't imagine how difficult that must have been. Also, they went on to win at both the AMA's & the Grammy's (the Grammy was revoked). And now, 34 years later, people lip-sync on TikTok videos & get millions of views. Can't win lol.