Henri Belolo, producer and co-creator of The Village People, has died at the age of 82.
New York Daily News report Belolo passed away on Saturday (August 3).
In a statement issued to Rolling Stone, Village People singer Victor Willis said: “I am devastated by the untimely death of Henri Belolo who was my former producer, mentor and co-creator of Village People.
“Henri, who actually died on August 3, 2019, leaves an impressive body of work that helped shape the disco genre, and as a record executive, he was par excellence.”
In loving memory of Henri Belolo, founder of Scorpio Music and pioneer of dance music.
1936 – 2019 pic.twitter.com/xh0ZZqFkG4
— Scorpio Music (@scorpio_music) August 5, 2019
The singer went on to confirm that a private funeral has already been held in Paris, although a public memorial service is being planned and will be announced soon.
French record label Scorpio Music, which was founded by Belolo back in 1976, also took to Twitter to post their condolences. “In loving memory of Henri Belolo, founder of Scorpio Music and pioneer of dance music,” they wrote. See that post above.
Belolo was born in 1936 in Casablanca, Morocco to a model and a sailor. Having begun his music career as a DJ, he relocated to Paris to work in production before moving to the US in 1973. Belolo then met fellow producer Jacques Morali, with the pair creating The Village People in 1977.
Appearing alongside Willis’ policeman alter-ego in the disco group were the GI, the builder, the cowboy, the biker, and the Native American. They were most famous for their hit ‘YMCA’.
Morali and Belolo also helmed the Ritchie Family’s track ‘Brazil’ in 1975, with the song going on to dominate the club circuit and later become popular around the world.