Hip Hop

DJ Casper, Creator Of ‘Cha Cha Slide’ Dead At 58 After Cancer Battle

"Cha Cha Slide" creator DJ Casper has died following a long battle with cancer

DJ Casper
DJ Casper/Instagram

DJ Casper, who is well-known for his iconic cha-cha slide dance song, has passed away following a long battle with cancer.

The family of DJ Casper confirmed that he had been afflicted with cancer and had been battling the disease for over seven years. The emcee rocked the early 2000s with his “Cha Cha Slide,” dance which has become a staple for parties, including family gatherings where family dance by following the routine.

Born Willie Perry Jr., DJ Casper was from and grew up in Chicago and acquired his name due to his fondness for wearing all-white outfits while on stage dancing.

According to his biography, Casper originally created the “Cha Cha Slide,” as an instructional for his nephew, who was a personal trainer at Bally Total Fitness in 1998. The song became immensely popular in fitness clubs across Chicago and later PE in schools, leading him to create a second song in 2000 for commercial release across the United States.

The song first got massive airplay by Elroy Smith WGCI-FM in Chicago before hitting the charts leading to DJ Casper receiving a record deal from M.O.B. Records, which released a compilation album featuring DJ Casper and other lesser-known artists from Chicago and the project was distributed by Universal Records.

Before his death, the artist was diagnosed with kidney and liver cancer. In a BBC interview shortly after, the artist spoke about the disease affecting his health but said he would not let it change his life or stop him.

Imparting positive words to those who were afflicted with cancer like himself, he wrote, “Anybody that’s going through cancer, know that you have cancer and cancer does not have you. So, keep on doing the ‘Cha Cha Slide”.

On his Instagram page, fans flooded his account with messages. “U put an imprint in this world,” one fan wrote. “RIP The Cha Cha Lives On,” another commenter said.

“DJ Casper was a phenomenal and important artist of the culture, he will be missed, but he will be celebrated and remembered for generations as his song ‘Cha Cha Slide’ remains a staple in the culture,” one person wrote.