Knuckles’ longtime business partner Frederick Dunson confirmed that Knuckles “died unexpectedly” at his home on Monday. Further details on the cause of death are expected to be released today. He was 59.
Frankie Knuckles is widely regarded as the “godfather” of house music for his prominent role in its development and flourishing in the wake of the disco backlash of the late 1970s. Born in the Bronx in 1955, Knuckles became a DJ in the burgeoning underground New York scene of the early ’70s before relocating to Chicago, where he made a name for himself by meshing soul and R&B records with early analog drum machines for a gritty, energetic new style which came to be known as “house.”
He became a fixture of Chicago’s legendary Warehouse nightclub, and in 1983, opened up his own club The Power Plant. In 2004, the street where The Warehouse once stood was renamed in his honor.
Beyond DJing, Knuckles was a producer in his own right, best known for his singles Your Love and The Whistle Song. His most recent release was a DJ mix entitled Tales From Beyond The Tone Arm, released in 2012 through Nocturnal Groove.
Listen to Your Love below: