It has been reported that one of the absolute biggest pioneers in House music, Frankie Knuckles, has died due to ‘complications relating to Type II diabetes’ on March 31, 2014.
Knuckles developed diabetes in the mid-2000s having already contracted the bone disease osteomyelitis after breaking several metatarsals in his right foot while snowboarding in Switzerland, in 2003.
Against doctors orders, he continued to DJ and in July 2008, he had his foot amputated.
‘When I saw it was gone I had a good cry, but when I woke up the next morning I felt 1,000% better,’ he told the Guardian in 2011, ‘I didn’t realize how much pain I’d been in until it was gone. It was like all of a sudden the sun came out.’
Frankie, which was known as “The Godfather of House Music“, was born in the Bronx, NY but later relocated to Chicago where he played an important role in the development of house music during the 1980’s. He was active in the music scene for the past 40+ years and has contributed immensely to the electronic music scene. He remained active up until his death.
Frankie Knuckles performs during day 2 of the 2009 Electric Zoo Festival on Randall’s Island on September 6, 2009 in New York City.
Starting in the disco era of the 70’s, Frankie became a resident DJ at Chicago’s Warehouse Club and later launched his own music venue, known as the Power Plant. As the disco music declined in popularity, he soon started experimenting with various musical styles such as soul, disco and electronic music which later became “house music”.
His musical career consisted of several noteworthy collaborations, including Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Toni Braxton as well as a long list of remixes for Chaka Khan, Pet Shop Boys, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and many more.
One of Frankie Knuckles latest DJ sets was in 2013 at the Boiler Room in New York.
Rest in Peace, Frankie.