NEW YORK (AP) — Henri Belolo, who co-founded Village People and co-wrote their classic hits “YMCA,” ''Macho Man" and “In the Navy,” has died. He was 82.
Scorpio Music, founded by Belolo, announced on Wednesday that Belolo died Saturday. No details about the death were provided.
Belolo was born in Casablanca, Morocco, on Nov. 27, 1936.
With Jacques Morali and lead singer Victor Willis, Belolo founded the six-member Village People. The group’s self-titled debut album was released in 1977.
In 1978, the group released two albums, "Macho Man" and "Cruisin'" — which featured the international hit "Y.M.C.A.," co-written by Belolo. It peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard chart.
A year later, Village People released the album “Go West,” which included “In the Navy,” another song co-written by Belolo that peaked at No. 3 hit on the chart.
Navy Times editor’s note: “In the Navy” was the group’s last major hit in the United States and it almost became an anthem for the sea service. The Pentagon approached Belolo to use the song as a recruiting jingle. So they struck a deal. Belolo agreed to license the tune to the Navy and the service in 1979 let a band that trafficked in camp stereotypes board the Knox-class frigate Reasoner in San Diego and dragoon sailors as extras for what everyone might concede is a pretty outlandish video. The Navy stuck with “Anchors Aweigh” but Village People got their footage. By the way, lead singer Victor Willis was the original naval officer in the group and, yes, a credited co-writer of “In the Navy.”