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

Casper’s wife, Kim, told Chicago’s ABC7 — which first reported the news — that he died on Monday after a seven-year bout with cancer.

Casper, whose birth name was Willie Perry Jr., was born and raised in Chicago. “Cha Cha Slide,” originally released under the title “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,” which started to get radio play. Eventually, Chicago’s M.O.B. Records became involved, catapulting the song to further fame in the city by 2004, and later the world. “Cha Cha Slide” reached No. 1 on the U.K. Singles chart that year, as well as Scotland and Ireland Dance charts.

In 2016, Casper was diagnosed with kidney and liver cancer. In May, Casper discussed his health challenges further in an interview with ABC7’s Samantha Chatman.

“I used to weigh 236 pounds, and I think I’m about 60 pounds less,” Casper told ABC7. “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.”

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

“Anybody that’s going through cancer, know that you have cancer and cancer does not have you,” Casper said at the time. “So, keep on doing the ‘Cha Cha Slide.’”



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