DJ Casper, Creator Of The Iconic “Cha Cha Slide” Dies. He Was 58.
DJ Casper, whose real name was Willie Perry Jr., was a Chicago legend. Known around the globe for the iconic “Cha Cha Slide,” he lost his battle with cancer. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Mr. Perry passed away Monday, August 7, 2023. He was only 58.
During an interview with the Sun-Times in 2019, Mr. Perry talked about being diagnosed with liver and kidney cancer in 2016. His cancer went into remission in 2018, and he spoke about keeping a positive attitude. At the time, the music star was helping others battle the disease by encouraging other cancer patients. By stopping to visit hospitals Perry said it felt good that he could spread positivity to people that needed a pick-me-up.
He gave back in other ways by organizing a Dime Drive in 2021. It was the perfect way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the “Cha Cha Slide.” Which was released on August 2, 2000, on the album Cha-Cha Slide: The Original Slide Album. DJ Casper launched a global fundraiser asking fans to do the famous slide worldwide and donate a dime for cancer research.
Believe it or not, Perry's first hit record, "Casper Slide Pt. 1," – also known as "Cha Cha Slide," was a workout track! He recorded the single for his nephew, who worked as a personal trainer at Bally Total Fitness in 1998.
From there, the song became an aerobics and PE anthem for fitness clubs and schools. It grew in popularity to the point that in 2000 he created the "Casper Slide Pt. 2", which was picked up by Chicago DJ Elroy Smith. The Chi-Town DJ made it a national hit when he started playing on the legendary WGCI-FM. The rest is history!
Rest in eternal peace, DJ Casper—our deepest condolences to his family and friends.