DJ Casper, the renowned American musician behind the global hit “Cha Cha Slide,” has passed away at the age of 58. He had been battling kidney and liver cancer since 2016, and he ultimately succumbed to the illness.
Born as Willie Perry Jr in Chicago, where he spent his life, Casper originally conceived “Cha Cha Slide” in 1998 as a musical workout routine for his nephew, who was a personal trainer. The song quickly gained popularity within the Chicago region and eventually gained widespread recognition.
Initially signed on a local level, the song later caught the attention of a major record label, propelling it onto the international stage. Featuring an infectious line-dancing routine accompanied by lively commands from Casper (who released it under the name Mr C the Slide Man), “Cha Cha Slide” became a favorite at various events, including weddings, children’s parties, and sports gatherings.
Gradually gaining momentum, “Cha Cha Slide” achieved widespread recognition in the United States around 2001, eventually becoming a modest chart success by reaching No. 83 on the charts. Its popularity then extended to the United Kingdom in 2004, where it soared to the top spot, claiming the No. 1 position. Casper also complemented the song’s success by releasing an accompanying album titled “Cha-Cha Slide: The Original Slide Album.”
Throughout his life, Casper faced and conquered various health challenges. These included overcoming a brain aneurysm at the age of 22 and undergoing eye surgery for detached retinas. In 2019, he shared the news that his cancer was in remission, offering hope to many. However, the cancer later resurfaced.
In a recent interview with Chicago’s ABC7 news channel, Casper expressed his resilience and determination: “Anybody that’s going through cancer, know that you have cancer and cancer does not have you.”