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The Village People

Would you call the Village People the queer Kiss or the male proto-Spice Girls? Has anyone ever even thought that long and hard about the group's musical relevance? Masterminded by producer Jacques Morali in 1977, the Villagers were initially helmed by Victor Willis, whom the world knew much better as just "the cop." He was later joined by the construction worker, the Indian, the soldier, the cowboy and the biker, each having a more lustrous moustache and more laughably stereotypical image than the last. By the end of the disco age, the group tried to get all Adam Ant, donning "New Romantic" gear before essentially calling it quits in 1985. Subsequent reunions saw the lineup getting muddled, but the campy spirit remained. At least one of the People's string of disco hits can be heard most weekends at practically any wedding reception, not to mention most major sporting events. Both blare the group's not-so-closeted gay anthems — have you ever listened to "YMCA"? — with a regularity and fervor that still boggle the mind.

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