The BBC Radio 1 DJ posted a message about the Godfather of House on his Twitter account after he died ''unexpectedly'', reportedly due to complications from Type II diabetes, having developed the disease during the mid-2000s, according to The Chicago Tribune newspaper.
Pete wrote: ''RIP gentleman genius, groundbreaker, inspiration. Blessed to have worked with you. (sic)''
House DJ Roger Sanchez added: ''I can't begin to count the ways he influenced me but I will never forget.''
Frankie remixed tracks by Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Luther Vandross and Whitney Houston during his career, as well as his own music, including songs 'Your Love' and 'The Whistle Song'.
His death was confirmed by fellow DJ David Morales on Twitter, who was left stunned by the news.
He wrote: ''I am devastated to write that my dear friend Frankie Knuckles has passed away today,'' adding, ''Can't write anymore than this at the moment. I'm sorry.''
Frankie's longtime business partner, Frederick Dunson, also told The Chicago Tribune he ''died unexpectedly this afternoon at home''.
Producer Duke Dumont also tweeted: ''RIP Frankie Knuckles ..had the honour of working with you last year. Eternally grateful for laying the blueprint, that is House. (sic)''
Frankie started his career as a disco DJ during the early 1970s, with garage pioneer Larry Levan, and it is thought the term 'House' music originated in the late 1970s, when Frankie began spinning tracks at The Warehouse in Chicago.
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