Glenn Hughes (Village People)

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Glenn M. Hughes
Glenn M.Hughes.PNG
Background information
Birth nameGlenn Martin Hughes
Born(1950-07-18)July 18, 1950
Bronx, New York City, US
DiedMarch 4, 2001(2001-03-04) (aged 50)
Manhattan, New York City, US
Occupation(s)Singer, actor
Years active1968–1996
LabelsRCA Victor, Mercury Records, Casablanca Records, Phonogram, Polydor, Ariola Records, Polygram, RCA Ariola, BMG Ariola.
Associated actsVillage People

Glenn Martin Hughes (July 18, 1950 – March 4, 2001) was the original "Leatherman" character in the disco group Village People from 1977 to 1996.[1] He graduated in 1968 from Chaminade High School, then attended 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.[1] 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.

Hughes sported an extravagant horseshoe moustache and wore his trademark leather outfit on and off stage and became one of the iconic figures of the disco era. According to Jack Fritscher, Jacques Morali drew his inspiration for the character from the gay BDSM leather bar and sex club the Mineshaft's dress code.[2] Hughes frequented the club.[3] He was a bike fanatic in real life and kept his motorcycle parked inside his house.

In 1996, Hughes retired from the group and launched a successful New York cabaret act[1] until he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He had been a heavy smoker since he was a teenager. He was replaced by Eric Anzalone. However, Hughes continued with management of the band. During his later years, he was known for storming the streets of New York City with his custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Hughes was named on People Magazine's 1979 list of Most Beautiful People[4] and appeared in a television special The Playboy Mansion with Hugh Hefner.

Hughes died in March 2001, aged 50, at his Manhattan apartment from lung cancer.[1] He was subsequently interred wearing his leatherman outfit[5] at Saint Charles Cemetery (Section 43, Row M, Plot 63) in Farmingdale, New York.


  1. ^ a b c d Strauss, Neil (March 17, 2001). "Glenn Hughes, 50, the Biker Of the Village People Band". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Jack Fritscher, Robert Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera, p. 509.
  3. ^ Jack Fritscher, Robert Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera, p. 466.
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Telegraph

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