Belolo was born in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1936. He moved to France in his twenties and received his musical education in Parisian jazz clubs.
As he refined his skills as a DJ and producer, he chanced upon an import of TSOP(The Sound of Philadelphia) by the band MSFB and fell in love with the sounds of disco.
He moved to the US in 1973, where he met fellow Moroccan producer Jacques Morali. They teamed up to produce hits for the Ritchie Family, including Brazil, Best Disco In Town and Give Me A Break.
'Bigotry and hypocrisy'
In 1977, he and Morali assembled the six-member Village People after a chance encounter in New York. "We were walking around [Greenwich] Village and we saw an Indian playing bells on the street," he told The Parisian Today.
"Intrigued, we followed him to a bar where he was a waiter, and sang a disco number every 20 minutes. Among the customers was a guy with a cowboy hat. That was the trigger: To create a group with all the stereotypes of the American male."
Belolo wasn't sure the Village People would cross over to the mainstream, but the irresistible choruses of Macho Man, In The Navy and YMCA helped the band sell 100 million records worldwide.
Although their fortunes declined after the disastrous 1980 film Can't Stop the Music, Belolo continued to exert an influence on dance music.
Along with Morali, he wrote hit records for Break Machine and Eartha Kitt in the 1980s. After moving back to France, his label released international hits like Eiffel 65's Blue (Da Ba Dee), Gala's Freed From Desire and Haddaway's What Is Love?
More recently, the label, which is now run by his son Anthony, has topped the charts with J Balvin and Willy Williams' Mi Gente, and Loud Luxury's club smash Body On My.
Sad to hear that Henri Belolo pass away. All toughts to the family i was so honored to met him and now im blessed to be in the Scorpio Music Family, we continue to do what henri belolo did in the past : A Little French Team can Hit the world, he & we did it @scorpio_music