Victor Willis, former lead singer of the Village People, is about to release his first new CD in years. Its theme song, inspired by Ebola, premiered on YouTube late Dec. 8 and debuts digitally Dec. 9.
The musician, who now lives in La Jolla, wrote or co-wrote all the Village People hits, including "Y.M.C.A.," "Macho Man," "In the Navy" and "Go West." He dressed as the "policeman" of the '70s disco group.
His wife, Karen, joins him in recording "Save the People (Save the World)." In a recent tweet, he called it the first American pop release about the Ebola crisis. He also tweeted that he is dedicating the song to Ebola and donating royalties to organizations committed to treating and finding a cure for it.
Willis wrote the tune with the intention of inviting numerous artists, Diana Ross, Carlos Santana, Bruno Mars and others, to join in it. With that in mind, he asked his wife to sing the test vocals to send to them for review.
Willis eventually abandoned the collaboration because coordinating schedules would have delayed the song's release. In his pursuit of the idea, though, some of the artists asked him, "Who's the kid or teenager doing the vocals?" He replied, "That's not a kid, that's my wife." That's when the idea struck him to use her voice in the recording because it provided the "innocent, nonthreatening sound" he desired.
"Karen reluctantly allowed me to use the vocals, but will not do any appearances or concerts," said Willis, who will be starting a concert tour in May.