Remembering Frankie Knuckles, the Godfather of House music - Dallas News |

Remembering Frankie Knuckles, the Godfather of House music

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Frankie Knuckles Frankie Knuckles
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Frankie Knuckles was known as the Godfather of House music. He was an architect of a genre that continues to grow today.

Knuckles passed away on Monday in his home in Chicago at the age of 59.

He came to Chicago from New York to DJ on Jefferson Street, a street that now bears his name.

Robert Williams owned the Warehouse, a club on Jefferson which is where the term house music came from in the late 1970s.

"This is the city which really launched his career, from working at the Warehouse where I begged him to come here from New York," said Williams.

Monica Hairston O'Connell, the Executive Director of the Center of Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago was attempting to collaborate with Knuckles prior to his death.

The goal was to collect documents from Knuckles career to be displayed at the center. She often talks to students about house music and how it got its start in Chicago.

"Disco kind of went underground a little bit, but it's kind of a continuation of many aspects of disco; mixed in soul and R and B," said Hairston O'Connell. "The thing that makes Frankie so great is that he just was really an artist when it came to weaving these different genres in with each other."

Celeste Alexander, a Chicago DJ and a close friend of Knuckles studied his technique.

"He cared about the party, he cared about dance, you know what I'm saying? He cared about the people that had paid their money to come in and have a good time and creating that environment for them," said Alexander.

Other famous DJs remembered Knuckles on Twitter. David Guetta tweeted, "…he was the real Pioneer of house music, I discovered real Dj'ing listening to him . It's a sad day."

Chicago based DJ Bad Boy Bill added via Twitter, "...An amazing talent & the true Godfather of House Music. House Music has an angel in heaven."

Friends and fans, known as "house heads" are also devastated by his loss.

"With his influence he started other DJs and they just looked up to him. He was a father figure as well," said fan Herletta Hunter. "And everybody, we're just, just lost."

Knuckles was also known as an inspiration in the LGBT community.

The exact cause of his death was not known on Tuesday night. Friends said he suffered from some ailments because he was a Type-2 Diabetic.

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