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'Godfather of House Music' Frankie Knuckles, Dies at 59

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Frankie Knuckles
Photo Credit: Raymond Boyd/Getty

Legendary house music DJ, Frankie Knuckles, has passed away. He was 59. His business partner Frederick Dunson tells The Chicago Tribune that Knuckles “died unexpectedly" at his home.

Though born in the Bronx, New York, Knuckles went on to make a name for himself as a DJ in Chicago where he came to be credited with being one of the pioneers of house music, a new form of dance music back in the late '70s and early '80s. As time went on he was loved in America, but cherished in Europe because of techno music, a by-product of the Chicago and Detroit's house music. Knuckles often joked that he would be unrecognized in Chicago, but often greeted by cheering crowds in Europe.

“I wasn’t frustrated by that,” he told the Tribune. “I’m not the kind of person that lives for fame and glory. If I’ve got a nice, clean home and can put a meal on my table and can entertain my friends, I’m fine. I don’t need to see my face plastered everywhere.”

Knuckles thought of the dance floor as a safe space for gay, African-American and Hispanic communities. "I think dancing is one of the best things anyone can do for themselves. And it doesn’t cost anything," he said.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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