While we don’t have official confirmation on this, word from David Morales, DJ Deeon, Paul Johnson, and 5 Magazine is that Frankie Knuckles, the Grammy-award winning godfather of house music, has passed away at 59 years of age. At present time, there is no information on what happened to Frankie, but 5 Magazine says that they “received word this evening from people close to him” about his passing in Chicago. If this is true, dance music, especially the behemoth known as house, has lost a true originator and pioneer. It was Knuckles’ DJ work at Chicago’s Warehouse that helped create a genre that’s taken the world by storm.
We have reached out to Frankie’s management, and await official confirmation. We will update once we have more word on this situation. And for those who need to hear the man in the mix, check out his XLR8R podcast, which dropped last week, or check out this collection of mixes and playlists via Gridface.
UPDATE The Chicago Tribune received confirmation of Frankie’s death from his business partner Frederick Dunson, with an email saying that Knuckles “died unexpectedly this afternoon at home.” It’s said that a statement on Frankie Knuckles’ passing should be coming on Tuesday; we’ve seen some reports about Frankie passing due to complications from diabetes, but that has not been confirmed.
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