|Chicago house genre originator Frankie Knuckles dies
Frankie Knuckles, a pioneer of the genre of music that came to be known as “house,’’ and who mixed records for the likes of the late King of Pop Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, has died at the age of 59, news reports said.
He was born Francis Nicholls.
One of his most famous tracks was “Your Love’’ in the late 1980s. It was a dance hit. Among other hits was the remix of Chaka Khan’s “Aint Nobody.’’
The house genre emerged at the disco craze faded. The name house is believed to have origins in the Warehouse, a club opened by a friend in Chicago. He spun a variety of tracks there.
His death was confirmed by his long time business partner, Frederick Dunson, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Besides developing the sound and culture of house music, Knuckles mixed records for performers like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Depeche Mode, the Tribune said.
After learning to be a club DJ in New York, Knuckles moved to Chicago in the late 1970s.
The Tribune said that for many music buffs disco literally died when a radio deejay named Steve Dahl blew up hundreds of disco albums.
“I witnessed that caper that Steve Dahl pulled at Disco Demolition Night and it didn't mean a thing to me or my crowd,'' Knuckles told the Tribune. “But it scared the record companies, so they stopped signing disco artists and making disco records. So we created our own thing in Chicago to fill the gap.''
By the late '80s, Knuckles and many of his peers were stars in Europe's emerging rave scene.
Knuckles joked that he could walk down the street in Chicago and not be recognized, yet be mobbed by upon arriving at European airports for DJ gigs.—AFP/The Standard