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‘Cha Cha Slide’ creator and Chicago native DJ Casper dies at 58

DJ Casper, best known for creating the hugely successful dance hit “Cha Cha Slide,” has died, according to the BBC. He was 58 years old.

Casper’s wife, Kim, told ABC7 in Chicago, which first broke the news, that Casper died Monday after a seven-year bout of cancer.

Birth name Willie Perry Jr. Casper was born and raised in Chicago. Originally titled “Casper Slide Pt. 1” was made in 1998 for Casper’s personal trainer nephew’s aerobics class. After the song gained traction in local fitness clubs, Casper released a new version in 2000: “Casper Slide Pt. 2″ started playing on the radio. Eventually, Chicago MOB Records got involved, making the song more famous in the city and later around the world by 2004.” “Cha Cha Slide” peaked at #1 on the UK Singles chart that year, as well as the Scottish and Irish Dance charts.

In 2016, Casper was diagnosed with kidney and liver cancer. In May, Casper discussed her health issues in more detail in an interview with ABC7’s Samantha Chatman.

“I used to weigh 236 pounds and I think I’m about 60 pounds lighter,” Casper told ABC7. “If you know me, you know I won’t stop. I’ll keep going. I’ll keep going until I can’t go.”

However, he hoped that “Cha Cha Slide” could still send a positive message to anyone struggling.

“Anyone who has gone through cancer knows that you have cancer and the cancer doesn’t have you,” Casper said at the time. “So keep doing the ‘Cha Cha Slide’.”

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