The YMCA in Australia has partnered with Boy George to record a new version of YMCA, the song that made the Village People famous almost 40 years ago.
Boy George has rerecorded the song as part of the Why Not? campaign which targets social and mental topics relevant to young people, including marriage equality and other LGBT issues.
Speaking to Guardian Australia, Melinda Cole, the CEO of the YMCA in Australia, said: ” We had a big conversation about how we can be a social movement for young people. One of the assets we had was the recognisable YMCA song…
“Research shows an overwhelming link between marriage equality and mental health – we are prepared to stand up for that.
“When you listen to the reason why the song was written and listen to the verses, then you see it fits with our social mission. We want to be a social movement for young people and with young people.”
Boy George’s version of YMCA is distinct from the Village People’s version.
“I thought I would give it a give a jazzy tone – but not too much Ethel Merman,” he said.
Upon its original release the YMCA attempted to ban the song, with its gay innuendo.
Today, Boy George has acknowledged the YMCA’s journey to acceptance of gay men and women.