House Music's 'Godfather' Dies at 59

Frankie Knuckles was top DJ at pioneering club

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 1, 2014 8:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – He's been called the "Godfather of House Music," and Rolling Stone says he "laid the groundwork for electronic dance music culture—all of it." Frankie Knuckles, who died yesterday at 59, was the top DJ at the Warehouse in Chicago, where house music was effectively invented, Gawker reports. Born in the Bronx, Knuckles launched his DJing career in New York before moving to Chicago, where a street was eventually named after him, FACT reports.

After five years at the Warehouse, he moved on to open the Power Plant in 1983. At the Warehouse, Knuckles blended disco, indie, and rock to create house music, named for the club. He left his mark on hits ranging from 1982's "Your Love" to 2008's "Blind." "Hands down," Knuckles is "one of the dozen most important DJs of all time," writes Michaelangelo Matos in Rolling Stone. The cause of death hasn't been been revealed.

Frankie Knuckles in 2012.
Frankie Knuckles in 2012.   (?)
A screen grab from YouTube video of Frankie Knuckles.
A screen grab from YouTube video of Frankie Knuckles.   (YouTube/ Red Bull Music Academy)
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