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
New York City, United States
DiedMarch 4, 2001(2001-03-04) (aged 50)
New York City, United States
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.

Glenn's powerful bass voice played an important part in the background vocals of almost all Village People's hits, such as "In the Navy". He sported an extravagant horseshoe moustache and wore his trademark leather outfit on and off stage. 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 a successful New York cabaret act,[1] which kept him busy until he was diagnosed with lung cancer (he had been a regular smoker since he was a teenager). 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",[1] was named on People Magazine's 1979 list of most beautiful people.

Hughes died in March 2001, aged 50, at his Manhattan apartment from lung cancer.[1] He was subsequently interred (wearing his leatherman outfit)[2] at Saint Charles Cemetery (Section 43, Row M, Plot 63) in Farmingdale, New York.


  1. ^ a b c d e Strauss, Neil (March 17, 2001). "Glenn Hughes, 50, the Biker Of the Village People Band". The New York Times.
  2. ^ The Telegraph

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