DJ Casper released one of the most popular line dance songs ever in the “Cha Cha Slide” back in 2000, and it remains a mainstay at parties, weddings and large gatherings. DJ Casper, also known as Mr. C The Slide Man, died Monday (Aug. 7) after a bout with cancer.
DJ Casper, real name Willie Perry Jr., was born May 31, 1965, in Chicago, IL. Casper earned his namesake due to always wearing white, according to his Wikipedia bio.
The origins of the “Cha Cha Slide” date back to the late 1990s after Casper created the track “Casper Slide Pt. 1” for his nephew, who worked as a personal trainer at Bally Total Fitness. The song exploded within that scene, prompting Casper to create the “Casper Slide Pt. 2,” better known today as the “Cha Cha Slide” song.
The track grew in popularity in Chicago in the early 2000s, given the city does have a rich dance culture in the form of “stepping” or hand-dancing as it is called on the East Coast. Universal Records obtained licensing rights to the song and began to distribute the track throughout the world where it caught on due to DJ Casper’s instructions for the dance and the collective movement it inspired.
The song was such a cultural phenomenon that it made its way to an episode of prison drama-comedy Orange Is The New Black where DJ Casper plays himself and spins the “Cha Cha Slide” record, sparking a prison line dance sequence.
Back in 2016, Casper was diagnosed with kidney cancer and neuroendocrine cancer and began treatment immediately. According to a report from local outlet ABC 7, which confirmed the passing and obtained statements from Casper’s spouse, Casper remained in good spirits after granting the outlet his final television interview back in May of this year.
“Casper was a fun-loving, giving person,” Kim Perry said in a statement. “He was a genuine, family oriented man. He loved Chicago with all his heart. He will be greatly missed.”
DJ Casper was 58.
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