Frankie Knuckles, the godfather of house music, has passed away. He was 59.

From the Chicago Tribune:

In Chicago, Frankie Knuckles was called the “godfather,” not because of any underworld connections, but because he helped build house – a style of Chicago dance music that revolutionized club culture in the ‘70s and ‘80s and still resonates around the world today.

Knuckles died Monday at the age of 59, as confirmed by his longtime business partner, Frederick Dunson. More details would be forthcoming Tuesday, Dunson said, who said in an email that Knuckles “died unexpectedly this afternoon at home.” In addition to developing the sound and culture of house music, Knuckles would go on to mix records by major artists such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Depeche Mode.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune

Knuckles honed his craft in New York City, then moved to Chicago in the late 70s. He developed a reputation as one of the city’s most influential dance-music tastemakers.

Rest in peace Mr. Knuckles.

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