American disco group Village People just beefed up its touring line-up with the addition of a hunky Asian-American model.
The popular 70s group known for wearing costumes depicting American masculine cultural stereotypes unveiled a 6-foot-2-inch Chinese model/actor named James Kwong as one of its latest members. Kwong will now be the group’s official “construction worker”.
Kwong’s IMDB profile indicated that his previous work includes “Days of Our Lives”, “All My Children” and “Just Shoot Me!”.
Following a drawn out rights battle, founding member and lead singer Victor Willis returned to the group and began making some updates to the line-up.
According to the Herald Sun, Willis, who co-wrote the group’s biggest hits including “YMCA”, “In the Navy”, “Go West”, “Milkshake” and “Macho Man”, cast the new members after months of auditions.
Aside from Kwong, other new members also include Josh Cartier as leatherman, Edward Lopes as GI, Chad Freeman as cowboy, and Angel Morales as Native American.
The revamped Village People is composed of both gay and straight members which Willis said, “has always been the case with the Village People.”
According to Willis, the new additions will help reinvigorate the group as they gear up for a comeback.
“I felt the former touring version of the group… looked old and tired,” he told WENN, “so a revamp or repositioning of the group was required to bring it back into the mainstream. The addition of an Asian-American for the first time in the group’s history is part of that repositioning.”
Willis promises a highly energized Village People when the group hits the road.
“A lot of damage was done to the group’s image by years of canned music presented as live performances, but that’s all about to change,” he was quoted as saying.
The group’s return coincides with a planned movie documenting the origins of the Village People. There is also a talk of a major Broadway musical featuring the band’s music on the horizon.