DJ Casper, the mastermind behind the renowned "Cha Cha Slide," has passed away at the age of 58.
On Monday, the Chicago native succumbed to his fight against cancer.
In May earlier this year, Casper engaged in a final interview with ABC7's Samantha Chatman at his residence, reflecting on his twenty years of global fame and his health trials. This marked his last appearance on television.
Casper held a special place as one of Chicago's most cherished treasures. He devised one of the most iconic line dances to date, all while staying grounded in his origins.
During his conversation with ABC7 in May, Casper revealed his health struggles, yet remained steadfast in his commitment to staying optimistic and savoring every moment. His legacy endures through a song that unites individuals from all walks of life.
Casper confessed that he never envisioned the "Cha Cha Slide" to become a global sensation. He recollected, "When I initially created it, it was meant as an aerobic routine for my nephew at Bally's. But then it caught fire. Elroy Smith from WGCI embraced it."
Casper took his acclaimed line dance performance across the globe. He remarked, "I have one of the most played songs at various stadiums: from hockey and basketball to football and baseball; even at the Olympics. It resonated with everyone."
He even embarked on a tour with James Brown. Unfortunately, his journey was halted upon being diagnosed with cancer.
"In 2016, I was diagnosed with two types of cancer: renal and Neuroendocrine, affecting my kidney and liver," Casper revealed. "Surgery was attempted, but the kidney's connection to the main artery posed risks, leading to the decision to pursue alternative treatment."
Over the years, his battle against cancer presented myriad challenges. In a recent conversation with ABC7, Casper shared his struggle with eating and substantial weight loss.
He recounted, "I used to weigh 236 pounds, and I've shed about 60 pounds. But if you know me, you know I won't yield. I'll press on, as long as I can."
Casper aspired for his "Cha Cha Slide" to forever symbolize the potency of unity, community, and optimism. His parting words held significance for those grappling with similar struggles.
"To those battling cancer, recognize that you possess cancer, but cancer doesn't define you," Casper affirmed. "Continue dancing to the 'Cha Cha Slide.'"
On Monday, Casper's wife, Kim, conveyed that he passed away while surrounded by loved ones, losing his battle against cancer.
"He was a person full of joy, always ready to give," she stated in a message. "A true family man with a deep love for Chicago. He will be profoundly missed."
Our condolences go out to his entire family.