Village People star’s son hits out at Donald Trump amid YMCA row

Tom Horton, PA
·2-min read

Donald Trump has been criticised for his “massive and unauthorised” use of the Village People’s song YMCA by the son of one of the band’s founding members.

Jonathan Belolo, son of the late musician Henri Belolo, criticised the US president for using the song in campaign videos.

On the day of the election, Mr Trump shared a video featuring clips of him dancing at campaign rallies while the song played in the background.

Jonathan, who is also the president of Scorpio Music, said: “The beneficiaries of (band co-founders) Messrs Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo, like the company Scorpio Music, owner of the work, discovered with amazement this illicit appropriation, which is more for partisan and electoral purposes of Donald Trump, which they would never have accepted.”

The statement added: “This infringing use of the YMCA work will therefore be the subject of a complaint in the next few days, both in France and in the United States, against any initiator or accomplice of what constitutes outright theft of the property of others.

“As of now, they are banning anyone from disseminating the contentious video in question without their authorisation.”

YMCA record sleeve
YMCA record sleeve


Henri died last year at the age of 82.

Voting is continuing in the election and a winner is yet to be declared, although Democrat candidate Joe Biden has edged closer to victory in a few key battleground states.

Village People singer Victor Willis has previously said the group do not endorse Mr Trump.

Speaking to the BBC last month, he said: “I like hearing music at all times and I like the fact that fans of all kinds, Democrats or Republicans, they all like YMCA and that is something that is pleasing to me.

“As far as endorsing Trump, I don’t endorse Trump, I’ve never endorsed Trump, nor has Village People.

“We have even asked him basically to stop even playing our music at his rallies.”