Frankie’s long-term business partner Frederick Dunson confirmed the news to the Chicago Tribune on Monday 31 March, stating in an email that the veteran DJ and producer ‘died unexpectedly this afternoon at home’.
DJ David Morales also confirmed via Twitter: ‘I am devastated to write that my dear friend Frankie Knuckles has passed away today. Can’t write anymore than this at the moment. I’m sorry.’
Frankie was born in New York and mentored by seminal disco DJ Larry Levan.
He moved to Chicago where he went on to pioneer the house music sound DJing at influential clubs including the Warehouse and his own night, the Power Plant.
Influential productions include Your Love and The Whistle Song while he also remixed the likes of Mary J Blige, Janet Jackson and Diana Ross.
Inducted to the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005, Knuckles also had a Chicago street named after him in 2004, on the former site of the Warehouse club.
Frankie had been active until his death having recently played at the Miami Winter Music Conference and London’s Ministry of Sound.
More news on the causes behind his sudden passing is expected soon.