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Glenn Hughes (Village People) Bio

Glenn M. Hughes (July 18, 1950 – March 4, 2001) was the original "Biker" character in the disco group Village People from 1977 to 1996. He graduated Class of 1968 from Chaminade High School, then attending Manhattan College, where he was initiated as a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity in 1969. He was interested in motorcycles, and was working as a toll collector at the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel when he responded to an advertisement by composer Jacques Morali seeking "macho" singers and dancers. Hughes and other members of the band were given a crash course in the synchronized dance choreography that later typified the group's live performances. Glenn's powerful bass voice played an important part in the background lyrics of almost all Village People's most known hits, such as In The Navy. He sported an extravagant handlebar moustache (or more correctly a horseshoe moustache) and wore his trademark leather outfit on stage and off. As he was the band's "biker" and a real life fanatic, he kept his motorcycle parked inside his home. With Village People gaining fame, Hughes became one of the icons of the disco era, even appearing in a special television broadcast in Playboy Mansion with Hugh Hefner. In 1996 he retired from dancing and launched his own successful New York cabaret act, which kept him busy until lung cancer was diagnosed. He was replaced by Eric Anzalone as the Biker character. However, Hughes continued with management of the band. During his later years, he was known for storming the streets of New York with his Custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Hughes, who was also referred to by the masses as "Leatherman", was named on People Magazine's 1979 list of most beautiful people. He died in March 2001 at age 50 in his apartment in Manhattan from lung cancer and was interred in Saint Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York. His iconic handlebar moustache and leather clothing have made Glenn a gay archetype. He is often referenced to or parodied throughout pop culture, most notably Mr. Slave in the animated series South Park.