DJ Casper, creator of 'Cha Cha Slide,' dies after 7-year battle with cancer

DJ Casper, creator of ‘Cha Cha Slide,’ dies after 7-year battle with cancer

DJ Casper, the man behind the wildly successful, “Cha Cha Slide,” has died, according to ABC7 Chicago. He was 58.

Casper’s wife, Kim, announced Monday that the 58-year-old had died after a seven-year battle with cancer.

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

If you’ve attended any type of party over the last two decades, chances are you’ve heard or maybe even participated in the “Cha Cha Slide,” originally released as “Casper Slide Pt. 1.”

The Chicago native, whose birth name was Willie Perry Jr., originally made the dance song for his personal trainer’s nephew’s aerobics class.

“From there, it just took off. Elroy Smith from WGCI grabbed ahold of it,” he told ABC7.

In 2000, Casper released a second version, “Casper Slide Pt. 2,” which eventually hit the radio.

“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.”

Casper was on top of the world until 2016 when he was diagnosed with two types of cancer.

“They diagnosed me in 2016 with two kinds of cancer, which is renal and Neuroendocrine, which is kidney and liver,” he said. “They went in to try to do surgery, and they found out the kidney was connected to the main artery, so they decided not to do it and just treat it.”

Over the past seven years Casper dealt with various challenges related to battling cancer.

Most recently he struggled with eating.

During his last interview in May, he told ABC7, “If you know me, you know I’m not going to stop. I’m going to continue to go. I’m going to continue to go until I can’t go.”

In addition to leaving behind a worldwide hit, Casper shared an important message for those currently battling cancer.

“Anybody that’s going through cancer, know that you have cancer and cancer does not have you,” Casper said. “So, keep on doing the ‘Cha Cha Slide.'”


Rest in peace, DJ Casper. You and your music will never be forgotten.