They called him “Godfather of House.” DJ Frankie Knuckles, born Francis Nicholls, died suddenly Monday when he was just 59, leaving fans and fellow DJs to mourn him and memorialize his founding role in house music. Knuckles is associated with the Warehouse, a Chicago club where he played. The scene directly gave birth to the very term “house music.”
Knuckles was born in The Bronx in 1955 and began DJing in New York in the ’70s with Larry Levan. After moving to Chicago in 1977 he played at the famed Warehouse and then his own club, The Power Plant. He remained an integral part of house music throughout the decades, producing seminal records ‘Your Love’, ‘Baby Wants To Ride’ and ‘Tears’ and continuing his DJing career to the present day. In 2004, Chicago named a street after him where the old Warehouse once stood.