The creator of the most popular line dancing hit, the “Cha Cha Slide”, DJ Casper has passed away. His wife, Kim, confirmed the news to Chicago ABC7, revealing Casper lost his seven-year battle to cancer. He was 58.
Casper, whose real name was Willie Perry Jr., was a Chicago native and songwriter. He was diagnosed with kidney and liver cancer in 2016. Due to the diagnosis, he had to have treatment.
Whether you were at a family cookout, birthday party, school event, or wedding, the “Cha Cha Slide” was a song that was played everywhere to bring together the masses, no matter their age. It put a smile on millions of faces and brought families together to laugh, get their groove on, tap their feet and clap their hands. The easy dance moves and matching lyrics were known across the world.
The story behind the hit song is one you’d never expect. Casper had once talked about how the original song was meant for an aerobic exercise for his nephew. After the original song released under Casper Slide Part 1 gained popularity in fitness clubs, he then decided to run it back for a second version, Casper Slide Part 2. It began to get radio play and traveled across the world.
This May, Casper sat down with ABC7’s reporter, Samantha Chatman at his home to discuss his fame and health struggles. According to ABC7 Chicago, Casper said he never thought the Cha Cha Slide would take off the way it did.
“I have one of the biggest songs that played at all stadiums: hockey, basketball, football, baseball; they played it at the Olympics,” Casper said. “It was something that everybody could do,” he told Chatman.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, August 19 followed by a service at Holy Temple Cathedral.