House music has Frankie Knuckles has passed away at the age of 59. Moving from New York to Chicago in 1977 to be the resident DJ at a new nightclub, The Warehouse, it was Knuckles mix of soulful underground disco records with more robotic sounds like Kraftwerk that gave rise to a distinct thread of newly emerging dance music, which locals began to call “house music,” named after Knuckle’s club.
Perhaps the most well-known of the original house music practitioners, Knuckles began his career DJing in New York with Larry Levan, who himself would become infamous as the resident of the Paradise Garage. Once in Chicago, Knuckle’s closest peer was Ron Hardy, who was inspired by The Warehouse to create his own DJing legend at the Music Box club. Both Levan and Hardy are revered names, but their premature deaths in 1992 and 1991 respectively meant that neither saw the heights of success that their collective “house music” sound would achieve over the next 25 years.
Knuckles, however, remained a vital part of house music throughout it’s explosion of the past 25 years. He was celebrated by his adopted city in 2005, when the street near the Warehouse’s old location was honorarily named “Godfather of House Music – Frankie Knuckles Way.” Additionally, timeless hits like “Your Love,” “Baby Wants To Ride,” and “It’s A Cold World,” have remained in regular rotation by DJs around the globe for nearly three decades.
Knuckles continued to DJ right up until his death. He was currently in the middle of a European tour, and played at London’s Ministry of Sound nightclub on Saturday night.