Victor Edward Willis ( born July 1, 1951 ) is an american english singer, songwriter, and actor. He is well known as the establish member of the disco group Village People. He performed as their lead singer and was co-songwriter for all of their most successful singles. In the group he performed costumed as a policeman or a naval military officer. The son of a Baptist preacher, Willis developed his sing skills in his father ‘s church service. With trail in acting and dancing, he went to New York and joined the esteemed Negro Ensemble Company. He appeared in many musicals and plays, including the original Broadway production of The Wiz in 1976 and subsequently, the australian production.
Reading: Victor Willis – Wikipedia
Willis besides had written and recorded several albums in the mid-1970s for independent labels and was finally introduced to french disco producer Jacques Morali. Morali, who dubbed him the “ young man with the boastfully articulation ”, approached Willis and said, “ I had a dream that you sang moderate vocals on my album and it went very, identical big ”. [ 1 ]
village People [edit ]
Willis agreed to sing lead and background vocals under the guise of Village People, an at-that-point non-existent concept group. The album Village People was released in July 1977, including the hits “ San Francisco ( You ‘ve Got Me ) “ and “ In Hollywood ( Everybody is a star topology ) “, and became a huge hit in the burgeoning disco market. After an put up from Dick Clark for the group to perform on American Bandstand, Morali and Willis were pressed to develop a “ real ” group around Willis to perform bouncy. They did so by placing an ad in music trade wind papers for “ butch ” singers who “ could besides dance ” and “ must have a mustache ”. [ 1 ] Willis was soon writing songs produced by and co-written with Morali for the group and early artists, which met with achiever. The village People promptly rose to the top of the charts with Willis at the helm, scoring numerous major hits such as “ Macho Man “, “ Y.M.C.A. “, “ In the Navy “, and “ Go West “. In 1980, as preparations for a greenwich village citizenry feature film Can’t Stop the Music were under way, Willis left the group. Although he does not appear in the movie, he wrote the lyrics for two of the film ‘s songs, “ magic Night ” and “ Milkshake ”. Can’t Stop the Music is listed among Hollywood ‘s bigger movie flops. [ 2 ] After Willis departed, Village People never had another hit. In an try to “ recapture the magic ”, Morali convinced him to return to the group in 1982 for the album Fox on the Box. The album was released a year late in the United States as In the Street. In 1983, Willis left the group again. In 2013, Willis appeared on the television receiver One series Unsung in their two-hour special retrospective on the disco earned run average. [ 3 ] On June 28, 2016, Willis appeared as a contestant on the show To Tell the Truth, and sang “ Y.M.C.A. ” as the credits rolled .
Solo career [edit ]
Willis acting in 2008 After leaving greenwich village People, Willis declined offers to record and systematically refused to perform any of his village People hits. In 2010, he appeared at several Major League Baseball stadiums, performing The Star-Spangled Banner and leading the crowd for the traditional Y.M.C.A. 7th-inning stretch interruption.
In 1979, Willis recorded a solo album which remained unreleased for over 35 years. The album, Solo Man, was finally released in August 2015. [ 4 ]
Copyright terminations [edit ]
In 2012, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California ruled that under the provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, Willis could terminate his copyright transfers to Scorpio Music and Ca n’t Stop Productions, because “ a joint writer who individually transfers his copyright pastime may unilaterally terminate the grant. ” [ 5 ] Willis subsequently held a 33 % share of “ Go West ”, “ Y.M.C.A. “, “ In the Navy ”, and other songs written for Village People and other acts. [ 6 ] In 2015, a jury determined that the sole writers of 13 songs were Morali and Willis, and the mention Henri Belolo was removed, giving Willis a 50 % ownership of those songs. [ 7 ]
return to Village People [edit ]
In 2017, Willis and Henri Belolo, Morali ‘s commercial enterprise partner and co-owner of the group, reached an out-of-court settlement whereby Willis resumed his function as spark advance singer of Village People, [ 8 ] [ 9 ] and they resumed recording and touring internationally. In 2018, Willis announced via social media plans for approaching Village People projects including a fresh studio apartment album, a Christmas music video, and a re-issue of the group ‘s 1979 concert primitively released as the “ live ” assign of the album Live & Sleazy .
personal life [edit ]
Willis struggled with drugs for many years after leaving village People and had several run-ins with the police. Following an halt in 2006, he was given probation and ordered into rehab at the Betty Ford Clinic. [ 10 ] In 2007, following treatment, Willis made his first statement to the press in more than 25 years, saying, “ The nightmare of drug abuse is being lifted from my life … now that the haze of drugs are gone, I ‘m thinking and seeing clearer now than I have in years … I ‘m looking advancing to living the second depart of my life drug-free. ” From 1978 until 1982, Willis was married to Phylicia Ayers-Allen ( now Phylicia Rashad ), whom he met during the run of The Wiz, and who later played Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show. [ 11 ] He besides wrote the lyrics for her album, Josephine Superstar. On November 17, 2007, Willis married a second clock time ; his wife Karen is a lawyer and an entertainment executive .