DJ Casper, Chicago hype man behind ‘Cha Cha Slide’ phenomenon, dies at 58

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DJ Casper, creator of the 2000 novelty hit “Cha Cha Slide” and its ubiquitous line dance, has died at 58.

Casper, whose delivery title was Willie Perry Jr., died Monday after a seven-year battle with most cancers, his spouse Kim confirmed to WLS-TV in Chicago, which was first to report on the musician’s demise. The BBC reported that Casper had been identified with kidney and liver most cancers in 2016 and underwent therapy.

“Casper was a fun-loving, giving particular person,” his spouse stated in an announcement. “He was a real, household oriented man. He beloved Chicago with all his coronary heart. He will probably be enormously missed.”

The household revealed his analysis in 2016 after launching a GoFundMe marketing campaign to help in his care.

The hype man was born and reared in Chicago and as soon as toured with funk legend James Brown. He started making music and deejaying when he was a teen, describing himself as a pure entertainer who needed to make individuals have enjoyable. The South Sider, who additionally glided by Mr. C the Slide Man, landed his stage title by carrying all white throughout his performances and earned his declare to fame with the megahit “Cha Cha Slide.” The track, whose video was shot in downtown Chicago, catalyzed a world dance craze that has remained in common rotation at dance events and wedding ceremony receptions for the reason that early aughts.

“I actually didn’t anticipate the ‘Cha-Cha Slide’ to do what it did,” he informed Chicago’s PBS station WTTW in 2018.

“Cha Cha Slide” was initially titled “Casper Slide Pt. 1” when it was launched in 1998. Its corresponding choreography — directing dancers to stomp, “slide to the left, slide to the fitting. Criss cross,” and “cha cha actual clean” — was initially created for his nephew’s step aerobics class at Bally Complete Health, Casper stated, and the observe was bought out of a trunk. Its native reputation prompted him to launch “Casper Slide Pt. 2,” which was picked up by Chicago radio station WGCI-FM in 2000 and have become a neighborhood hit, with listeners calling in to request the track.

M.O.B. Information picked up the track in 2004, main DJ Casper to a take care of Common Information.

“I’ve one of many largest songs that’s performed in any respect stadiums: hockey, basketball, soccer, baseball; they performed it on the Olympics,” DJ Casper informed WLS in Could. “It was simply one thing that everyone may do.”

The track’s success allowed him to maintain making music, he informed WTTW, however the royalty checks slowed down since its peak and he splurged “till all of the splurging is gone.” Though he continued to carry out the hit at occasions, the novelty finally wore off: “I’ve gotten sick of the track a very long time in the past. However I don’t get sick of individuals having fun with themselves.”

Dressed as a jail orderly working a turntable, Casper made a notable look in Season 6 of Netflix’s dramedy “Orange Is the New Black” when Loopy Eyes (Uzo Aduba) hallucinates about her fellow inmates and jail guards doing the road dance. The track has additionally been included within the soundtracks for the movies “Turning Crimson,” “Resort Transylvania 4: Transformania” and “Crimson Street.”

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