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DJ Casper, creator of 'Cha Cha Slide,' has died at 58

The man who created one of the most well-known dance hits has died.
DJ Casper, creator of 'Cha Cha Slide,' has died at 58
Posted at 5:07 PM, Aug 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-08 19:07:13-04

The Chicago DJ behind one of the most beloved dance floor hits, "Cha Cha Slide," has died at 58 years old.

DJ Casper, whose real name is Willie Perry Jr., had been battling kidney and liver cancer since 2016 and lost his fight surrounded by loved ones Monday, his wife told ABC7 Chicago.

In May, he told the news station of the health challenges his 2016 diagnosis had created, from doctors not being able to treat him with surgery to losing 60 pounds. But he remained positive and said he would "continue to go until I can't go."

"Anybody that's going through cancer, know that you have cancer and cancer does not have you," he told the station. "So, keep on doing the 'Cha Cha Slide.'"

DJ Casper originally created the now infectious song in 1998 as a step aerobics routine for his nephew who worked at a fitness club. When the fitness class grew in popularity, Perry put the instructions to music, and after multiple versions, the one most known and loved soon took off.

Today, people around the world and of different ages can perform the dance by heart. Plus, it's still a staple at weddings, sports stadiums, clubs and other events.

Perry told ABC7 Chicago in May he hopes "Cha Cha Slide" will always be a sign of togetherness and positivity. And although many fans may remember him for making the hit, his family will remember him for his love. 

"Casper was a fun-loving, giving person," his wife, Kim, said in a statement to the station. "He was a genuine, family oriented man. He loved Chicago with all his heart. He will be greatly missed."


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