Grammy-Award Winning ‘Godfather of House Music,’ Frankie Knuckles, Passes Away at 59

Yesterday (March 31), the music world lost a pioneer.

DJ and legendary music producer Frankie Knuckles has passed away unexpectedly at the age of 59 due to complications from diabetes.

Knuckles is known for creating the “house music sound” when he spun records at The Warehouse nightclub in Chicago during the 1970s. Frankie had moved there from his birthplace the Bronx in New York, where he first played disco music which is credited as the seed from where “house music” stems from. In 1983, he opened up his own club called The Power Plant, where he honed this new, emerging sound.

In 1991, he released his debut solo album Beyond the Mix containing notable singles "The Whistle Song," "Rainfalls" and "Workout."Other tracks include “Baby Wants to Ride,” and “Your Love.” He also mixed tracks for some of music’s most renowned acts, including Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.

Words of condolences have been rushing in from Knuckles’ DJ friends and artists alike. Fellow house David Morales wrote on Twitter "I am devastated to write that my dear friend Frankie Knuckles has passed away today. Can't write any more than this at the moment. I'm sorry.” Questlove also wrote, “jesus man. Frankie Knuckles was so under-appreciated. he was the dj that dj's aspired to be. true dance pioneer."

Have a listen to a fairly recent interview from 2012 as Frankie talks about his career, and also check out some of his work below.