DJ Casper, the Chicago musician whose “Cha Cha Slide” song became a worldwide hit following its release in 2000, passed away on Monday after a lengthy battle with cancer. The deceased disc jockey, hype man, and songwriter was 58.
The announcement of DJ Casper’s death was made by his wife Kim, ABC7 Chicago reported. In a statement, she said her deceased husband was “a fun-loving, giving person.” “He was a genuine, family oriented man. He loved Chicago with all his heart. He will be greatly missed.”
Following its release in August 2000, “Cha Cha Slide” featured on the Billboard Hot 100 for a period of five weeks and has remained a global hit. In what would be his final television interview before his passing, DJ Casper talked about the fame he achieved with the song and his cancer diagnosis.
He said he never expected “Cha Cha Slide” was going to launch him to global stardom. “When I first did it, I did it as an aerobic exercise for my nephew at Bally’s,” DJ Casper told the news outlet in May. “From there, it just took off. Elroy Smith from WGCI grabbed ahold of it.”
“I have one of the biggest songs that played at all stadiums: hockey, basketball, football, baseball; they played it at the Olympics,” he added. “It was something that everybody could do.”
The deceased DJ was also initially on a tour with James Brown, but his cancer diagnosis made him withdraw. “They diagnosed me in 2016 with two kinds of cancer, which is renal and Neuroendocrine, which is kidney and liver,” said DJ Casper. “They went in to try to do surgery, and they found out the kidney was connected to the main artery, so they decided not to do it and just treat it.”
DJ Casper also touched on the health challenges he endured following his diagnosis, revealing that he lost significant weight and had issues eating, ABC7 Chicago reported. “I used to weigh 236 pounds, and I think I’m about 60 pounds less,” he said. “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.”
Despite his health struggles, DJ Casper shared some words of encouragement to other cancer patients. “Anybody that’s going through cancer, know that you have cancer and cancer does not have you,” Casper said. “So, keep on doing the ‘Cha Cha Slide.'”