August 9, 2023

'Cha Cha Slide' Artist DJ Casper Dead at 58

DJ Casper has died at the age of 58, following a long battle with cancer.

Casper passed away on Monday, according to related Quita D. Perry.

"Casper was a fun-loving, giving person," the DJ's wife said in a statement to ABC7.

"He was a genuine, family-oriented man. He loved Chicago with all his heart. He will be greatly missed," she added.

"The star from Chicago, born Willie Perry Jr, created the 'Cha Cha Slide' — originally dubbed 'Casper Slide Pt.1' — in 1998 for his nephew, a personal trainer who intended to use the line dance song in his fitness class," the New York Post reported.

"The tune quickly spread throughout Chicago and, in 2000, he released a new version of the song, called 'Casper Slide Pt.2,' under his stage name Mr. C the Slide Man. The song gained international success, even topping the UK Singles Chart in 2004," it added.

In 2019, "Casper told the outlet that his cancer had gone into remission in 2018, but he still visited Chicago-area hospitals to chat with cancer patients and encourage them to fight through the difficult experience," HuffPost wrote.

"It is unclear when his cancer recurrence happened. However, he did share with ABC7 Chicago during his last televised interview that doctors initially attempted to do surgery for his cancer, but they 'found out the kidney was connected to the main artery, so they decided not to do it and just treat it,'" it continued.

Casper's hit song has long been known for bringing people together at dances, weddings and other events. The song was even parodied on "Saturday Night Live" and has been played at countless games and special occasions worldwide.

The song that first began as an exercise routine in Chicago has left its touch as many consider the memories associated with the popular title that has been a large part of many lives due to Casper's influence.

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