Frankie Knuckles dead: Tributes pour in after 'Godfather of house' passes away, aged 59

Chicago DJ Vince Lawrence, Tim Burgess and more pay respects to the man credited with popularizing the dance genre

Frankie Knuckles, the iconic Chicago-based house DJ, has passed away aged 59.

The producer’s longtime business partner, Frederick Dunson, confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that he had “died unexpectedly” on Monday afternoon (31 March) at his home, reportedly due to complications related to his diabetes.

Knuckles, who is known to many as the ‘Godfather of House Music’, boasted a collection of classic songs, including “Baby Wants to Ride” and “Your Love”.

He also mixed tracks for some of music’s most renowned acts, including Michael Jackson, Depeche Mode and Whitney Houston.

Tributes to the star have been flooding in via social media since news of his death was first announced.


They were led by Chicago DJ Vince Lawrence, who posted the following via his official Facebook page: “A legend has fallen.”

Others took to Twitter:

Originally born in the Bronx, Knuckles began his career DJing in New York alongside Larry Levan, before he relocated to become the premiere DJ at The Warehouse, where he played an important role in developing the popular genre well into the 80s.

Knuckles, who won a Grammy in 1998, had a street in Chicago named after him in 2004. In 2005, he was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.