Tuesday, January 10, 2017

One-Hit Wonders You May Not Know Are Dead

Rob Pilatus - Milli Vanilli
Regardless of how bad some one-hit wonders may be, and we're looking at you, "Mambo No. 5" The uniqueness of the songs and the artists who created them cannot be denied. Sadly, some of those artists got sent to the jukebox in the sky before they made it to the charts for a second time. Here's a few one-hit wonders you may not know are dead.

Pete Burns - Dead or Alive, As the gender-bending face of Dead or Alive, Pete Burns transitioned from '80s music icon to reality TV star. By the time he appeared on the UK version of Big Brother, he was barely recognizable as the person in the video for "You Spin Me Round." If you're not a child of the '80s, you may recognize samples from the song in Flo Rida's "You Spin My Head Right Round," and of course, from Adam Sandler's last good movie, The Wedding Singer. After selling 17 million albums and 36 million singles, Burns went bankrupt after spending most his money on plastic surgeries. He died at the age of 57, in October of 2016.

Rob Pilatus - Milli Vanilli, Most people are familiar with the lip-synching scandal that brought down the luxuriously dreadlocked duo Milli Vanilli.  What you may not know, is that Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan took very different paths. Though they tried to maintain their partnership with their brief and disastrous stint as Rob & Fab, they eventually parted ways. Morvan struggled to piece together a solo career, which led him to the European electronic music scene as well as an unlikely gig as a spokesperson for KFC.  Pilatus did not fare so well, speaking out bitterly against the backlash Milli Vanilli received and laid the blame at producer Frank Farian's feet. In the years after the scandal, Pilatus reportedly got involved in criminal activity, attempted suicide multiple times, and fell into drug use before landing in rehab. Pilatus died on April 2, 1998 of an alleged accidental overdose of alcohol and pills at the age of 33, right on the verge of Milli Vanilli's comeback tour, this time, using their real voices. Their final album was never released.

Pauly Fuemana - "How Bizarre" by OMC.  The driving force behind OMC, or Otara Millionaires Club if you're fancy, Pauly Fuemana reportedly started the band as "a South Auckland hip-hop outfit." We can only guess as to why Fuemana emerged as the singular talent, especially with the lyrics, like, well, That sort of creative genius is something you don't question. Well, that, and the fact that he was apparently a pretty intimidating former gang member. Unfortunately, Fuemana suffered from a disease called chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, which caused Fuemana to lose his sight and the ability to work. He succumbed to pneumonia on January 31, 2010 at the age of 40, leaving behind a wife and six children. And at least one very weird song.

Izora Armstead - Weather Girls "It's Raining Men" After performing as backup singers for disco star Sylvester, Izora Armstead and Martha Wash moved on to form the Weather Girls and release "It's Raining Men" in 1982. In no time at all, the tune became the anthem for wine-drunk moms out on the town and the pride parades worldwide. Wash left the group in 1990 and Armstead's daughter, Dynelle Rhodes, took up her mantle, so the group could live on just as the gods of bachelorette parties and wedding receptions would have wanted. Armstead died of heart failure on September 16, 2004, at age 62, but Rhodes has kept the Weather Girls alive by forming its third incarnation with Ingrid Arthur. Together, Rhodes and Arthur are continuing to rain men all over the world, and we just know Armstead is smiling down on them. Amen.

Chrissy Amphlett - Divinyls "I Touch Myself” It's probably safe to say that neither Chrissy Amphlett, nor the rest of the Divinyls, thought they were writing a song that would forever leave a mark on both the music and film world when they came up with "I Touch Myself." Pop culture serves as powerful reminders of the punch this one-hit wonder packed. Though the song came out in 1991, it's still a solid jam even today. The Divinyls released five full-length albums between 1982 and 1996, but they never created anything to rival the smash hit that somehow became the potentially uncomfortable, highly suggestive hit. Chrissy Amphlett died at home at the age of 53 on April 21, 2013 after fighting breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.

Source: YouTube by Nicki Swift

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