Pierre Delanoë, French veteran lyricist, music-radio pioneer and a major influence at French collecting society SACEM, died Dec. 27, aged 88.

One of the most prolific songwriters of the post-World War II era in France, Delanoë wrote for most of the country's singing superstars, ranging from 1940s chanteuse Edith Piaf to rock'n'roller Johnny Hallyday, who first found fame in the 1950s and is still one of France's leading chart acts.

Delanoë's name is especially associated with two famous artists: the late veteran singer Gilbert Bécaud, with whom he began his writing career, and "variété" vocalist Michel Sardou (currently signed to Universal Music France imprint AZ). Sardou co-wrote with Delanoë the lyrics to recordings such as "Les Lacs du Conemara," and "Etre une Femme." Both songs were published by Art Music France.

Delanoë wrote the lyrics for more than 5,000 songs and also adapted into French popular songs originally written in other languages. Those included "L'été Indien" and "Champs-Elysées," recorded by Joe Dassin, the U.S.-born 1960s and 1970s hit-maker.

The lyrics for Dassin's 1975 hit "L'été Indien" originated in Italian by Vito Pallavicini, with music by Salvatore Cutugno and Pasquale Losito. The song was published by Curci Edizioni SRL/Pianeta Edizioni Musicali.

His words for "Les Champs-Elysées," published in 1969 by Intersong Music, were adapted from the English-language lyrics to the song "Waterloo Road," which was written by Michael Antony Deighan, with music by Michael Wilshaw.

Additionally, Delanoë contributed to the lyrics of "Laissez-moi Danser," a 1975 recording by the Egyptian-born singer Dalida, whose successful career spanned from the 1950s to the 1980s. Cutugno also composed the music for this, but the original Italian lyrics were by Cristiano Minellono (published by Number Two Edizioni Musicali).

In a statement French Minister of Culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres said: "[Delanoë] had the gift to find the right words, the ones that give a tune its strength and that allow artists to fully express their talent."

A one-time tax inspector, Delanoë also co-founded French radio station Europe 1 in 1955 and had been president of the board of directors at SACEM, France's collecting society.

A SACEM statement described Delanoë as "one of the very few creative artists whose works have become part of our memory and heritage and have been included in school textbooks in their own lifetime."