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DJ Casper, the innovator behind the iconic ‘Cha Cha Slide’ party dance classic, passes away at the age of 58.

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On Monday, the spouse of the Chicago native confirmed that he had passed away following a prolonged battle with cancer.

DJ Casper, the renowned Chicago artist famous for creating the party classic “Cha Cha Slide,” has passed away at the age of 58. According to ABC 7, Casper’s wife confirmed to the station that he lost his battle with cancer on Monday, August 7, after a courageous seven-year fight.

DJ Casper’s Iconic ‘Cha Cha Slide’: From Family Aerobics to Global Party Anthem

Legend has it that DJ Casper, whose real name was William Perry Jr., originally created his most famous song for his nephew, who happened to be a Bally fitness trainer, around 1998. Initially titled “Casper Slide Pt. 1,” the line dancing track was intended as an aerobics exercise. However, the song took on a life of its own with its catchy instructions like “To the left/ Take it back y’all/ One hop this time/ Right foot, let’s stomp/ Left foot, let’s stomp/ Cha cha real smooth.” Soon enough, it became a worldwide sensation and a must-play anthem at various celebrations, including bar/bat mitzvahs, proms, weddings, and any event in need of a vibrant party starter.

DJ Casper’s Surprising Journey: From Aerobics Exercise to Global Phenomenon

During one of his final interviews in May, DJ Casper, known for his signature all-white stage outfits, expressed his astonishment at the unexpected worldwide success of “Cha Cha Slide.” He revealed that the song originated as an aerobic exercise he created for his nephew at Bally’s. Casper, who released the song under the name Mr. C the Slide Man, never anticipated its immense popularity among people worldwide. The breakthrough came when Elroy Smith from WGCI-FM in Chicago picked up a new version, “Casper Slide Pt. 2,” in 2000 and started playing it, making it a local hit. Subsequently, M.O.B. Records took notice in 2004, leading to a deal with Universal Records and the song’s inclusion on the album, “Cha-Cha Slide: The Original Slide Album.

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DJ Casper: The Resilient Creator of ‘Cha Cha Slide’ and His Battle with Cancer

DJ Casper, the mastermind behind the globally renowned “Cha Cha Slide,” took pride in having one of the biggest songs played at various stadiums, including hockey, basketball, football, and baseball arenas, even featuring in the Olympics. The dance track became a sensation because it was accessible to everyone.

In 2016, a GoFundMe campaign was initiated for Casper after he disclosed his diagnosis of liver and kidney cancer. Despite experiencing significant weight loss, shedding 60 pounds, the determined artist vowed to continue his fight against cancer. He expressed his unwavering determination, stating that he wouldn’t give up until he absolutely had to.

In 2018, DJ Casper made an unexpected cameo appearance in the popular Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black.” His persona popped up when one of the characters, Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren. Had visions of people in the psych ward performing the “Cha Cha Slide”. Including Casper himself, dressed as a prison orderly, skillfully handling the turntables. He was also a prominent on-air personality on iHeart radio station V103 in Chicago. And the founder of the streaming station, Casper Classic Radio.

In 2019, DJ Casper shared the hopeful news that his cancer was in remission, offering a glimmer of optimism. However, the battle was not over. As the cancer later returned, demonstrating the artist’s ongoing resilience in the face of adversity.

DJ Casper’s Lasting Legacy: ‘Cha Cha Slide’ as a Unifying Anthem Amidst Cancer Battle

DJ Casper cherished his legacy, believing that “Cha Cha Slide” would forever stand as a cheerful. Symbol of music’s ability to unite people with a positive message. Even while facing his own battle with cancer, he emphasized that the disease would not define him. In May, he encouraged others dealing with cancer, reminding them that they are not solely defined by the illness. Casper urged them to keep moving forward and finding joy. In dancing to the infectious rhythm of the “Cha Cha Slide.”

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