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We carried out a pivot experiment to select distant luminous late-type stars on the basis on their 2MASS and GLIMPSE photometry. Low-resolution infrared spectra enabled us to measure the equivalent widths (EWs) of their CO band-heads at 2.293 μm, and to confirm an extraordinarily high detection rate of red supergiants (RSGs), i.e. 61% (Messineo et al. (2016)).