DJ Casper, the man behind world famous “Cha Cha Slide,” dies at 58

DJ Casper, who was best known for the popular song and dance “Cha Cha Slide,” has passed away at the age of 58.

On May 31, 1965, Willie Perry Jr., a.k.a. DJ Casper, was born in Chicago.

The Chicago-born star was treated for kidney and liver cancer after being given that diagnosis in 2016. His wife Kim confirmed his passing on Tuesday to Chicago TV station ABC7.

The song ‘Cha Cha Slide’ has remained classic at birthday parties, school dances, and wedding discos despite being released almost 20 years ago. He developed the “Cha Cha Slide,” originally known as “Casper Slide Pt.1,” in 1998 for his nephew, a fitness instructor who intended to use the dance song in classes.

The song was played on a nearby radio station, after which it started to spread throughout Chicago and eventually the entire United States. The song was a hit throughout the world, even topping the U.K. Singles Chart in 2004.

In addition to the “Cha Cha Slide,” Casper also went on tour with James Brown and released three albums, including “I Love You” in 2022.

Casper, who earned the DJ moniker thanks to his ubiquity of all-white stage attire, admitted to ABC 7 in one of his final interviews in May that he never imagined “Cha Cha Slide” would become a global hit and be performed by people all over the world.

Casper told ABC, “I have one of the biggest songs that played at all stadiums: hockey, basketball, football, baseball; they played it at the Olympics. It was something that everybody could do.”

In the 2018 season of Netflix’s women’s prison drama Orange Is the New Black, Casper made an unexpected appearance when Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren had visions of everyone in the psychiatric ward performing the “Cha Cha Slide,” including Casper, who was dressed as a prison orderly operating the turntables. In addition, he founded the streaming radio station Casper Classic Radio and was an on-air personality on Chicago’s V103 on iHeart.