Frankie Knuckles

From New York's early discos to Ibiza's superclubs, Frankie Knuckles was one of the pioneers of the dance and electro scene, influencing everyone from the Pet Shop Boys to Daft Punk and David Guetta. Nicknamed "The Godfather of House Music", Knuckles grew up in The Bronx, but was inspired by the Philadelphia soul and funk scene and started DJ-ing at local clubs with childhood friend Larry Levan in 1971. Moving to Chicago in 1977, his mix of soul, R&B, disco and early electro beats made The Warehouse one of the legendary hot spots of the era, with house music taking its name from the club and the sets Knuckles and friends were playing. He went on to produce his own club anthems with Your Love, Rain Falls, The Whistle Song and Tears (most featuring vocalist Jamie Principle) and made his name as a producer and re-mixer for Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan and Diana Ross. He won the Grammy Award for Re-mixer of the Year in 1997 and was later inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame; but albums Beyond The Mix (1991) and Welcome To The Real World (1995) and A New Reality (2004) failed to make much of an impact outside of the dance world. Nevertheless, Knuckles remained a hugely respected producer and DJ and in recent years had worked with Hercules and Love Affair, Depeche Mode and Mary J Blige and even had a street named after him in Chicago. Having developed Type II diabetes in the Noughties, Knuckles died of related complications on 31st March 2014.

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