DJ Casper creator of ‘Cha-Cha Slide dies at 58

DJ Casper, who created the world-famous “Cha-Cha Slide,” has died. He was 58. The DJ — who was born Willie Perry Jr. — died on Monday, after a battle with cancer, ABC News reports.

 

The Chicago native reportedly created the iconic dance and song as a step aerobics routine, when he was helping his nephew, who worked as a fitness trainer at Bally’s Total Fitness, according to NPR.

The craze started soon after, when DJ Casper was inundated with requests to play the song at parties and events. It was soon picked up and played by Chicago’s WGCI-FM in 2000, and eventually released by Universal Records.

The song became a staple of birthday celebrations, bar mitzvahs and wedding receptions across the globe.

DJ Casper spoke with ABC7 Chicago in May, and reflected on his contribution to pop culture, sharing, “I have one of the biggest songs that played at all stadiums: hockey, basketball, football, baseball; they played it at the Olympics… It was something that everybody could do.”He also explained that he had recently had to stop touring and playing gigs amid his cancer battle, but shared a message of positivity for others dealing with similar struggles.

“Anybody that’s going through cancer, know that you have cancer and cancer does not have you,” he said. “So, keep on doing the ‘Cha-Cha Slide.’”

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