Cha Cha slide creator DJ Casper dies aged 58 following cancer battle
DJ Casper, who is the mastermind behind the world-famous Cha Cha Slide has died at 58 years old.
The popular songwriter – real name Willie Perry Jr – revealed he had been diagnosed with kidney and liver cancer in 2016 and updated his fans on his progress the following year.
On Monday, Perry’s wife, Kim, confirmed his death to ABC7.
His cause of death has not been revealed.
Perry previously shared with the publication that he was having trouble eating, and was losing a lot of weight.
He said: ‘I used to weigh 236 pounds, and I think I’m about 60 pounds less . If you know me, you know I’m not going to stop. I’m going to continue to go. I’m going to continue to go until I can’t go.’
Perry came up with the 1990s version of Cha Cha Slide after his nephew, a PE teacher in Chicago, asked Casper to write a track for a step aerobics class.
The craze started soon after, when the hypeman was inundated with requests to play the song at parties and events. It was soon picked up and played by Chicago’s WGCI-FM in 2000, and eventually released by Universal Records.
The original backing is from 1992 house hit Plastic Dreams, performed by Dutch producer Jaydee, which reached number 11 on the UK dance charts at the time.
First released in 2000, it took four years for the Cha Cha Slide to reach the UK – when it did, it was eventually certified Platinum for selling over 600,000 copies.
Speaking about the song in 2023, he said: ‘It just spread, it went crazy. When I got off a plane at Heathrow, there were about ten thousand people just waiting.’
However, he did admit to UniLad that he was ‘getting sick’ of the song after all these years, but said he’ll never get sick of watching people dance to it.
Tributes have been pouring for Perry, with one person penning: ‘Man, talk about legacy. RIP DJ Casper. You made a song and corresponding dance that will be solidified into the beyond, as will you.’
Another added: ‘The amount of fun memories I have bc of this man is insane, this is so disheartening to hear.’
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