(NewsReady.com) – There are a few must-play wedding songs. “Cha Cha Slide” is one of them and never fails to get guests out onto the dance floor. The man who wrote the hit song has passed away.
On August 7, Willie “DJ Casper” Perry Jr. lost his battle with cancer. In May, he sat down with ABC7 reporter Samantha Chatman in Chicago. He spoke about his career and the legacy he was leaving. He explained that he was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine and renal cancers in 2016; they impacted his liver and kidneys. Doctors tried to remove the cancer during an operation but could not get it all.
Perry was most well-known for “Cha Cha Slide.” Ironically, he didn’t originally record it to be the wedding hit that it is. He actually made the first version in the late 1990s to give to his nephew to use as an aerobic exercise. His nephew was working at Bally Total Fitness as a personal trainer at the time. The song became a huge hit in the early 2000s and soon became a party staple. Even people who have difficulty dancing have an easy time following along with the song’s steps.
The song was even played at the Buffalo Bills training camp this summer. A video of wide receiver Stefon Diggs doing the dance was posted on social media.
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) August 3, 2023
Perry’s wife, Kim, announced his death. She said he was a “fun-loving, giving person” who would be “greatly missed.”
Chatman remembered the singer in a post on X, formerly Twitter, calling him a “true Chicago legend.”
Rest in power to Chicago’s own Casper, the creator of the world famous Cha Cha Slide.
His wife Kim informed me that he lost his battle to cancer today.
The Cha Cha slide is one of the most popular line dances in the world.
Casper was 58 years old.
A true Chicago legend❤️🙏🏾🕊️ pic.twitter.com/Kw5kqQ1bnk
— Samantha Chatman (@SamChatmanABC7) August 8, 2023
During his interview with Chatman earlier this year, Perry said he wanted his song to be remembered for its power of positivity, unity, and community. He told those who were fighting cancer that they should know that although they have the disease, it does not have them. “So, keep on doing the ‘Cha Cha Slide,’” he said.
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