DJ Casper, creator of the “Cha Cha Slide,” dies at age 58

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

DJ Casper, creator of the world famous “Cha Cha Slide,” has died after a battle with cancer. He passed away on Monday, August 7, at the age of 58. 

His wife, Kim, confirmed the news to ABC 7’s Samantha Chatman, who had interviewed the Chicago native this past May. 

During their chat, Casper, born Willie Perry Jr., detailed his health struggles but said he was determined to stay positive. 

“Casper was a fun-loving, giving person,” his wife said in a statement shared by Chatman. “He was a genuine, family oriented man. He loved Chicago with all his heart. He will be greatly missed.”

Originally released under the title, “Casper Slide Pt. 1”, the popular line dance song was made in 1998 as an aerobics routine for Casper’s nephew who worked at Bally’s as a personal trainer. He had no idea the song would turn into an international sensation. 

“From there, it just took off,” he said.

Inspired by Chicago’s stepping movement, Casper later recorded a newer version of the song, “Casper Slide Pt. 2,” and in 2000 released the official “Cha-Cha Slide.”

He performed the hit song all over the world. 

“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.”

In 2016, he was diagnosed with kidney and liver cancer. Despite his ailments, he vowed to keep on going.

“If you know me, you know I’m not going to stop … I’m going to continue to go until I can’t go,” he said.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.