Chicago house pioneer Frankie Knuckles dies aged 59
In a single sentence, 5 Magazine brought unprecedented sadness to the dance music community. The Chicago-based dance mag wrote earlier this evening that Frankie Knuckles, the Chicago legend and Godfather of House music, had passed away at the age of 59. The story named no sources, but soon artists close to Knuckles took to social media to confirm it as true. Paul Johnson took the news to Facebook, DJ Deeon expressed condolences on Instagram and David Morales made a statement on Twitter, sparking the outpouring of mourning from DJs and dance fans alike. Though there has yet to be an official statement, 5 Magazine has defended its story via Twitter, naming The Warehouse owner Robert Williams as a source.
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.
— David Morales (@DJDavidMorales) April 1, 2014
Our site crashed within about 5 minutes of posting. I’ve been on the phone and have heard over and over that it’s true. — 5Magazine (@5Magazine) April 1, 2014
Knuckles, born in the Bronx in 1955, was a vital figure in developing house music in Chicago during the 1980s, having become resident DJ at The Warehouse, the venue responsible for the term House music. In 2005, Frankie was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame alongside leaders like John “Jellybean” Benitez, Francois Kevorkian and Larry Levan. The dance music community awaits more details.
UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune has confirmed the passing of Frankie Knuckles.