House music legend Knuckles dies

Hampshire Chronicle: DJ Frankie Knuckles has died at the age of 59 DJ Frankie Knuckles has died at the age of 59

DJ Frankie Knuckles, known as the "Godfather of house music", has died aged 59.

The Grammy-winning disc jockey - who worked with artists including Michael Jackson and Diana Ross - died on March 31 in Chicago, the Cook County medical examiner said. The cause of death was not revealed.

Knuckles is considered a key figure in the evolution of the house music genre, dating back three decades to venues in Chicago and New York.

"When you're as fortunate as most of us working DJs to be able to share our creative blessings with the rest of the world, no matter how great or small, wouldn't you agree that it's best to give the world the best of who you are?" Knuckles said, in a quote provided in a release from his company, Def Mix Productions.

Knuckles was born Francis Nicholls in 1955, in the Bronx. He worked as a DJ in the early 1970s in New York before moving to Chicago, where he was resident DJ at the city's The Warehouse club until it closed in 1983.

It was there that he defined house music's distinct style and took on the role of DJ as tastemaker, said Phil White, co-author of On the Record: The Scratch DJ Academy Guide. Knuckles "defined really what house music was in terms of style", White said.

Knuckles went on to have a high-profile recording career, putting out his own albums on Virgin Records and working as a producer and remixer with many famous musicians. He had a hit with his first album's first single, The Whistle Song.

He won a Grammy in 1997 for Remixer of the Year and was also a governor and trustee for the New York City chapter of The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

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