Henri Belolo, who assembled Village People with Jacques Morali and co-authored hits corresponding to “Y.M.C.A.,” “Go West,” and “In the Navy,” died on Saturday (August 3), Rolling Stone and * Daily News* report. He was 82. Born in Casablanca, Morocco, Belolo moved to New York in 1973, the place he met fellow Moroccan Jacques Morali. They helped pioneer the disco motion and, in 1978, assembled Village People—a gaggle that celebrated and embodied homosexual tradition and comprised a development employee, police officer, biker, cowboy, soldier, and Native American. The group remained widespread as disco waned, often releasing albums till their first hiatus, in 1985. Last yr, they launched A Village People Christmas, their first studio album in 33 years.
Village People singer Victor Willis stated in an announcement to RS: “I am devastated by the untimely death of Henri Belolo, who was my former producer, mentor and co-creator of Village People. Henri leaves an impressive body of work that helped shape the disco genre, and as a record executive, he was par excellence. A private funeral was held already [in] Paris, but we are working on a public memorial service which is expected to be announced soon.”