‘Godfather of house music’ Frankie Knuckles dies – CNN


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Click through to see<a href='http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/world/obituaries-2014'> people who passed away</a> in 2014.Click through to see people who passed away in 2014.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/03/showbiz/frankie-knuckles-obit/index.html' target='_blank'>DJ Frankie Knuckles</a>, a legendary producer, remixer and house music pioneer, died March 31 at the age of 59.DJ Frankie Knuckles, a legendary producer, remixer and house music pioneer, died March 31 at the age of 59.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/31/showbiz/celebrity-news-gossip/obit-kate-omara/index.html' target='_blank'>Kate O'Mara</a>, the British actress best known for playing Joan Collins' sister on the 1980s show "Dynasty," died March 30. She was 74.Kate O’Mara, the British actress best known for playing Joan Collins’ sister on the 1980s show “Dynasty,” died March 30. She was 74.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/25/us/buffalo-bills-founder-dies/index.html'>Ralph C. Wilson Jr.</a>, the founder and longtime owner of the NFL's Buffalo Bills, died at age 95, the team announced March 25.Ralph C. Wilson Jr., the founder and longtime owner of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, died at age 95, the team announced March 25.
Gwar lead singer <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/24/showbiz/gwar-dave-brockie-dead/index.html'>Dave Brockie</a> died March 23 at the age of 50, his manager said. The heavy-metal group formed in 1984, billing itself as "Earth's only openly extraterrestrial rock band." Brockie performed in the persona of Oderus Urungus.Gwar lead singer Dave Brockie died March 23 at the age of 50, his manager said. The heavy-metal group formed in 1984, billing itself as “Earth’s only openly extraterrestrial rock band.” Brockie performed in the persona of Oderus Urungus.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/23/showbiz/james-rebhorn-dead/index.html' target='_blank'>James Rebhorn</a>, whose acting resume includes a long list of character roles in major films and TV shows, died March 21, his representative said. Rebhorn was 65.James Rebhorn, whose acting resume includes a long list of character roles in major films and TV shows, died March 21, his representative said. Rebhorn was 65.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/17/showbiz/celebrity-news-gossip/lwren-scott-designer-obit/index.html'>L'Wren Scott</a>, a noted fashion designer and girlfriend of musician Mick Jagger, was found dead of an apparent suicide March 17, according to a law enforcement official. She was 49.L’Wren Scott, a noted fashion designer and girlfriend of musician Mick Jagger, was found dead of an apparent suicide March 17, according to a law enforcement official. She was 49.
Drummer <a href='http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/drummer-scott-asheton-of-iggy-andthe-stooges-performs-in-news-photo/479298893' target='_blank'>Scott Asheton,</a> who co-founded and played drums for the influential proto-punk band The Stooges, died March 15. He was 64.Drummer Scott Asheton, who co-founded and played drums for the influential proto-punk band The Stooges, died March 15. He was 64.
Comedian <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/15/showbiz/david-brenner-dies/index.html'>David Brenner</a>, a regular on Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show," died after a battle with cancer, a family spokesman said March 15. He was 78.Comedian David Brenner, a regular on Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show,” died after a battle with cancer, a family spokesman said March 15. He was 78.
Actress <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/09/showbiz/honeymooners-sheila-macrae-dies/index.html'>Sheila MacRae</a>, who portrayed Alice Kramden in a 1960s revival of "The Honeymooners" on "The Jackie Gleason Show," died on March 6, according to her family. She was 92. Actress Sheila MacRae, who portrayed Alice Kramden in a 1960s revival of “The Honeymooners” on “The Jackie Gleason Show,” died on March 6, according to her family. She was 92.
Spanish guitarist <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/26/showbiz/paco-de-lucia-death/'>Paco de Lucia</a>, seen here in 2006, died February 25 of an apparent heart attack. He was 66. De Lucia transformed the folk art of flamenco music into a more vibrant modern sound.Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia, seen here in 2006, died February 25 of an apparent heart attack. He was 66. De Lucia transformed the folk art of flamenco music into a more vibrant modern sound.
Actor, writer and director <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/24/showbiz/movies/obit-harold-ramis/index.html'>Harold Ramis</a>, seen here on the far left with fellow "Ghostbusters" Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, died at his Chicago-area home on February 24. He was 69. Other popular Ramis films include "Stripes," "Groundhog Day" and "Analyze This."Actor, writer and director Harold Ramis, seen here on the far left with fellow “Ghostbusters” Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, died at his Chicago-area home on February 24. He was 69. Other popular Ramis films include “Stripes,” “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This.”
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/22/showbiz/obit-maria-von-trapp/index.html' target='_blank'>Maria von Trapp</a>, seen here posing with a photo of her family, was the last of the singing siblings immortalized in the movie "The Sound of Music." She died February 18 of natural causes at her Vermont home, according to her family. She was 99.Maria von Trapp, seen here posing with a photo of her family, was the last of the singing siblings immortalized in the movie “The Sound of Music.” She died February 18 of natural causes at her Vermont home, according to her family. She was 99.
Journalist <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/21/us/obit-garrick-utley/index.html'>Garrick Utley</a> died at age 74 following a long battle with cancer, his wife of 40 years said in February. Utley worked for CNN after his 30-year career at NBC News.Journalist Garrick Utley died at age 74 following a long battle with cancer, his wife of 40 years said in February. Utley worked for CNN after his 30-year career at NBC News.
Devo guitarist <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/18/showbiz/devo-bob-casale-dead/index.html'>Bob Casale</a>, known by fans as "Bob 2," died February 17, his brother and band mate announced. Casale was 61.Devo guitarist Bob Casale, known by fans as “Bob 2,” died February 17, his brother and band mate announced. Casale was 61.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/15/showbiz/john-henson-dies/index.html'>John Henson</a>, the son of Jim Henson who is perhaps most notable for his portrayal of Sweetums on "The Muppets," died after a "sudden, massive heart attack," his family's company said on February 15. John Henson, the son of Jim Henson who is perhaps most notable for his portrayal of Sweetums on “The Muppets,” died after a “sudden, massive heart attack,” his family’s company said on February 15.
Veteran actor <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/13/showbiz/actor-ralph-waite-dies/index.html'>Ralph Waite</a> died at 85 on February 13, according to an accountant for the Waite family and a church where the actor was a regular member. Waite was best known for his role as John Walton Sr. on 'The Waltons."Veteran actor Ralph Waite died at 85 on February 13, according to an accountant for the Waite family and a church where the actor was a regular member. Waite was best known for his role as John Walton Sr. on ‘The Waltons.”
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/12/showbiz/sid-caesar-dead/'>Sid Caesar</a>, whose clever, anarchic comedy on such programs as "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour" helped define the 1950s "Golden Age of Television," died on February 12. He was 91.Sid Caesar, whose clever, anarchic comedy on such programs as “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour” helped define the 1950s “Golden Age of Television,” died on February 12. He was 91.
Hollywood child star <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/11/showbiz/hollywood-shirley-temple-death/index.html'>Shirley Temple</a>, who became diplomat Shirley Temple Black, died February 10 at her Woodside, California, home. She was 85.Hollywood child star Shirley Temple, who became diplomat Shirley Temple Black, died February 10 at her Woodside, California, home. She was 85.
<a href='http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/03/joan-mondale-wife-of-former-vice-president-dies/'>Joan Mondale</a>, the wife of former Vice President Walter Mondale, died on February 3, according to a statement from the family's church.Joan Mondale, the wife of former Vice President Walter Mondale, died on February 3, according to a statement from the family’s church.
Oscar-winning actor <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/02/showbiz/philip-seymour-hoffman-obit/index.html'>Philip Seymour Hoffman</a> was found dead in his Manhattan apartment of an apparent drug overdose, law enforcement sources said February 2.Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment of an apparent drug overdose, law enforcement sources said February 2.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/01/showbiz/actor-maximilian-schell-dies/index.html'>Maximilian Schell</a> died on February 1 in a Austrian hospital with his wife by his side, his agent Patricia Baumbauer said. He was 83. Schell was nominated for an Oscar three times. He won in 1962 for "Judgment at Nuremberg."Maximilian Schell died on February 1 in a Austrian hospital with his wife by his side, his agent Patricia Baumbauer said. He was 83. Schell was nominated for an Oscar three times. He won in 1962 for “Judgment at Nuremberg.”
Legendary folk singer <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/28/showbiz/pete-seeger-death/index.html' target='_blank'>Pete Seeger</a>, known for classics such as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)," died of natural causes in New York on January 27, his grandson told CNN. He was 94.Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger, known for classics such as “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song),” died of natural causes in New York on January 27, his grandson told CNN. He was 94.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/17/showbiz/celebrity-news-gossip/wizard-of-oz-munchkin-duccini-dies/index.html' target='_blank'>Ruth Robinson Duccini</a>, who played one of the Munchkins in the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz," died on January 16. She was 95. Ruth Robinson Duccini, who played one of the Munchkins in the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz,” died on January 16. She was 95.
Former Playboy centerfold <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/17/showbiz/cassandra-lynn-hnesley-dead/index.html?hpt=hp_t3'>Cassandra Lynn Hensley </a>was found dead at a friend's home in Los Angeles, the coroner there said on January 17. Hensley was 34. Her cause of death was not immediately known.Former Playboy centerfold Cassandra Lynn Hensley was found dead at a friend’s home in Los Angeles, the coroner there said on January 17. Hensley was 34. Her cause of death was not immediately known.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/17/world/asia/japan-philippines-ww2-soldier-dies/index.html'>Hiroo Onoda</a>, center, salutes after handing over his military sword on Lubang Island in the Philippines in March 1974. Onoda, a former intelligence officer in the Japanese army, had remained on the island for nearly 30 years, refusing to believe his country had surrendered in World War II. He died at a Tokyo hospital on January 16. He was 91.Hiroo Onoda, center, salutes after handing over his military sword on Lubang Island in the Philippines in March 1974. Onoda, a former intelligence officer in the Japanese army, had remained on the island for nearly 30 years, refusing to believe his country had surrendered in World War II. He died at a Tokyo hospital on January 16. He was 91.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/16/showbiz/russell-johnson-obit/index.html'>Russell Johnson</a>, center, stands with Alan Hale Jr., left, and Bob Denver in an episode of "Gilligan's Island" in 1966. Johnson, who played "the professor" Roy Hinkley in the hit television show, passed away January 16 at his home in Washington state, according to his agent, Mike Eisenstadt. Johnson was 89.Russell Johnson, center, stands with Alan Hale Jr., left, and Bob Denver in an episode of “Gilligan’s Island” in 1966. Johnson, who played “the professor” Roy Hinkley in the hit television show, passed away January 16 at his home in Washington state, according to his agent, Mike Eisenstadt. Johnson was 89.
<a href='http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/11/world/meast/obit-ariel-sharon/index.html'>Ariel Sharon, </a>whose half century as a military and political leader in Israel was marked with victories and controversies, died on January 11 after eight years in a coma, Israeli Army Radio reported. Sharon was 85.Ariel Sharon, whose half century as a military and political leader in Israel was marked with victories and controversies, died on January 11 after eight years in a coma, Israeli Army Radio reported. Sharon was 85.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/10/us/greensboro-four-activist-obit/index.html' target='_blank'>Franklin McCain</a>, seen center wearing glasses, one of the "Greensboro Four," who made history for their 1960 sit-in at a Greensboro Woolworth's lunch counter, died on January 10 after a brief illness, according to his alma mater, North Carolina A&amp;T State University. Franklin McCain, seen center wearing glasses, one of the “Greensboro Four,” who made history for their 1960 sit-in at a Greensboro Woolworth’s lunch counter, died on January 10 after a brief illness, according to his alma mater, North Carolina A&T State University.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/10/politics/reagan-spokesman-dies/index.html' target='_blank'>Larry Speakes</a>, who served as President Ronald Reagan's press secretary, died January 10 at his home in Cleveland, Mississippi, following a lengthy illness, according to Bolivar County Coroner Nate Brown. He was 74.Larry Speakes, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, died January 10 at his home in Cleveland, Mississippi, following a lengthy illness, according to Bolivar County Coroner Nate Brown. He was 74.
Poet<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/09/showbiz/poet-amiri-baraka-dies/index.html' target='_blank'> Amiri Baraka</a>, who lost his post as New Jersey's poet laureate because of a controversial poem about the 9/11 terror attacks, died on January 9, his agent said. Baraka was 79.Poet Amiri Baraka, who lost his post as New Jersey’s poet laureate because of a controversial poem about the 9/11 terror attacks, died on January 9, his agent said. Baraka was 79.
<a href='www.cnn.com/2014/01/07/world/asia/run-run-shaw-dies/index.html' target='_blank'>Sir Run Run Shaw</a>, the media tycoon who helped bring Chinese martial arts films to an international audience, died at his home in Hong Kong on January 7 at age 106, the television station he founded said.Sir Run Run Shaw, the media tycoon who helped bring Chinese martial arts films to an international audience, died at his home in Hong Kong on January 7 at age 106, the television station he founded said.
Stage, TV and film actress<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/08/showbiz/carmen-zapata-obit/index.html'> Carmen Zapata</a>, who founded the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts as a means of of introducing "the rich and eloquent history of the diverse Hispanic culture to English-speaking audiences," died on January 5 at her Los Angeles home. She was 86.Stage, TV and film actress Carmen Zapata, who founded the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts as a means of of introducing “the rich and eloquent history of the diverse Hispanic culture to English-speaking audiences,” died on January 5 at her Los Angeles home. She was 86.
Portugal football legend <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/05/sport/football/eusebio-death/index.html'>Eusebio</a>, who was top scorer at the 1966 World Cup, died from a heart attack on January 5 at age 71, said his former club, Benfica.Portugal football legend Eusebio, who was top scorer at the 1966 World Cup, died from a heart attack on January 5 at age 71, said his former club, Benfica.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/03/showbiz/alicia-rhett-dies/index.html'>Alicia Rhett</a>, who had been one of the oldest surviving cast members of the classic film "Gone With the Wind," died on January 3 in her longtime hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, a retirement community spokeswoman said. She was 98.Alicia Rhett, who had been one of the oldest surviving cast members of the classic film “Gone With the Wind,” died on January 3 in her longtime hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, a retirement community spokeswoman said. She was 98.
Singer <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/03/showbiz/singer-phil-everly-dies/index.html'>Phil Everly</a>, left -- one half of the groundbreaking, smooth-sounding, record-setting duo the Everly Brothers -- died on January 3, a hospital spokeswoman said. He was 74.Singer Phil Everly, left — one half of the groundbreaking, smooth-sounding, record-setting duo the Everly Brothers — died on January 3, a hospital spokeswoman said. He was 74.

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(CNN) — DJ Frankie Knuckles, who died Monday at 59, is remembered as a legendary producer, remixer and house music pioneer.

The Grammy-winning Knuckles combined “elements of disco, electronic sound, soul and synth into a new genre earned him the title ‘Godfather of House Music,’” Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said.

“His electrifying remixes and high-energy performances on the turntables packed clubs for decades, and he inspired a generation of DJs, bringing house music to the mainstream,” Portnow said.

Knuckles worked as a remixer with top artists including Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. He won a Grammy in 1997 as nonclassical remixer of the year.

The mayor of his adopted hometown, Chicago, said Knuckles was one of the city’s “most treasured cultural pioneers.”

“Over his long career Frankie made his way into the ranks of those artists and innovators who came to this city not just to contribute to a musical genre, but to create one themselves,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “In doing so, he also made his way into the hearts of those who knew him and the many more who followed his work.”

A section of Chicago’s Jefferson Street is officially known as Frankie Knuckles Way.

People we lost in 2014

CNN’s Joan Yeam contributed to this report.



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