"Finally, there's a boy band for older, hairy gay men."Bearforce1 is a dance music band, in the spirit of Village People, from the Netherlands with four gay members. At a time when smooth boy band images were the norm, Bearforce1 featured the popular gay stereotype of bears. "Bears" are usually mature gay (or bisexual) men with hairy bodies and faces; some are heavy-set. Bears often exhibit an masculine appearance. Bearforce1 was unapologetic about showing-off hairy, bearded band members shaking their moneymakers with their shirts off.The Belfast, Ireland–raised DJ-singer Robert Brown met Peter Johansson around three years ago, and while the pair were visiting New York City they spotted Yuri and Ian — whom they already knew through Amsterdam’s Furball parties — in a karaoke bar singing '80s hits. Inspiration struck. Back home in Amsterdam, with the aid of “plenty of alcohol” and prodding from producers Goldschmidt & Rockefeller, they officially became an act, recording the “Bearforce1” medley and making a first public appearance at Amsterdam’s gay pride festival this past summer.Bearforce1 got a lot of exposure by putting their video clips on YouTube. In July 2007, their eponymous single, "Bearforce1", got more than 400,000 views in a few weeks because it was picked up by famous weblogs like PerezHilton.com. The single was #20 on LOGO TV's most recent Ultimate Queer Videos Countdown. They also have released several other singles, many of which are medleys, and are available online.As of November 10, 2009, Bearforce 1's Web site, Official Bearforce1 Site, is closed. Although the band are no longer together, lead vocalist Robert Brown is pursuing a solo project and promoting a Gay Bear Night in his hometown of Belfast. Former member Ian Turner has left the band in spring 2009 and is now producing a solo album in his own studio in Amsterdam,which will be released beginning of 2011.
-The Washington Post
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