Godfather of Chicago House Music Frankie Knuckles Dead At 59

Numerous sources report that Chicago House legend Frankie Knuckles has passed away at 59 years of age.

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Image via Complex Original
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5 Magazine reports that legend of Chicago House Frankie Knuckles has passed away. This has been corroborated on social media by Chicago house artists Paul Johnson and DJ Deeon.

RELATED: Our Love: Remembering Frankie Knuckles, 1955-2004

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UPDATE (11:32 PM): DJ David Morales adds his name to the artists apparently confirming the news:

I am devastated to write that my dear friend Frankie Knuckles has passed away today. Can't write anymore than this at the moment. I'm sorry.


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UPDATE (2:30 AM): The Chicago Tribunehas confirmed Frankie Knuckles' passing through his longtime business partner, Frederick Dunson. They also reported a further statement would be forthcoming on Tuesday.

It is being reported that Knuckles passed away of complications related to Type II Diabetes.

It's a major blow; Knuckles is one of the most important figures in modern music.

Knuckles was born in the Bronx in 1955, and became a disco DJ in the early 1970s, spinning with childhood friend and garage pioneer Larry Levan at the Continental Baths. In 1977, the Warehouse nightclub opened in Chicago, and Knuckles moved to the city to become its premier DJ. As legend has it, the music Knuckles would spin at "The Warehouse" became extremely popular among his regular clubgoers, who would then go to record stores to request "house" music—music spun at "The Warehouse."

What Knuckles would spin evolved into its own genre, as producers used drum machines to produce less expensive version of popular dance styles. Knuckles would also begin to do his own edits, remaking disco tracks to make them work better for his dance floor.

The Warehouse became the crucible of a genre that would conquer the world and can still be heard on radio stations to this day. 

In 1983, Knuckles moved from The Warehouse to his own club, the Power Plant. 

Knuckles also became a producer, recording iconic versions of Jamie Principle's "Your Love," "Baby Wants To Ride," and "Cold World." Other singles included 1991's elegaic teardrop anthem "The Whistle Song":

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Knuckles was, however, primarily known for his skills as a DJ. He had tour dates coming up in April, and had just DJd at the UK's Ministry of Sound club on Saturday evening

In 2004, the City of Chicago renamed a stretch of Jefferson Street near the site of the old Warehouse "The Godfather of House Music" Frankie Knuckles Way. 

Caption: "Much respect....... Frankie knuckles.... SALUTE!!!!!! REST IN PARADISE"

[via DJ Deeon]

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