Frankie Knuckles - House Music Pioneer Frankie Knuckles Dies

Top music producer Frankie Knuckles has passed away at the age of 59.

The club music icon, dubbed the 'Godfather of House', died at his home on Monday (31Mar14), according to his business partner Frederick Dunson. His cause of death has not been confirmed but reports suggest he suffered from diabetes.

Knuckles started his music career as a Dj in New York City in the 1970s, before relocating to Chicago, Illinois.

His style of mixing disco and soul helped kick off the house club scene in 1980s Chicago. He went on to become the go-to remixer of the 1980s and 1990s, working on tracks by Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, the Pet Shop Boys, and Lisa Stansfield.

Knuckles also released several albums of his own tracks. In 2004, a stretch of road in Chicago was named Frankie Knuckles Way in honour of the warehouse club he previously ran in the area. He was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

Following the news of his death, a number of stars from across all music genres reached out to pay their respects.

Top British Dj Pete Tong tweeted, "R.I.P Godfather Of House Frankie Knuckles R.I.P gentleman genius groundbreaker inspiration blessed to have worked with you. Sad news."

Fellow disc jockey Rob da Bank added: "So sad to hear that Frankie Knuckles has died... amazing Dj and pioneer", while House superstar David Morales wrote on Twitter, "I am devastated to write that my dear friend Frankie Knuckles has passed away... Can't write anymore than this at the moment."

Musician Questlove also expressed his shock, tweeting: "Jesus man. Frankie Knuckles was so under-appreciated. He was the Dj that Dj's (sic) aspired to be. True dance pioneer."

A post on hip-hop act Wu Tang Clan's Twitter feed reads: "R.I.P Frankie Knuckles... Peace. All praises due..."

Another prolific House Dj, Roger Sanchez, also paid his respects: "Yes unfortunately it is true - Frankie Knuckles has passed on today. I can't begin to count the ways he influenced me but I will never forget."


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