Though he was born and raised in the Bronx, Frankie Knuckles (née Francis Nicholls) called the Windy City home. Known in dance music circles as the Godfather of House Music, the DJ/producer is credited with helping to popularize Chicago house in the wake of disco’s greatly exaggerated demise, paving the way for the genre’s domination of the pop charts in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Cutting his teeth alongside DJ Larry Levan in the ’70s, Knuckles spun regularly at the Warehouse in Chicago, went on to open his own club, the Power Plant, and remix hits by everyone from Michael Jackson to Inner City.
In 2004, the block where the Warehouse once stood was renamed Honorary Frankie Knuckles Way. And with house music enjoying a renaissance of sorts in recent years, one of the genre’s foremost pioneers has similarly experienced a deserved resurgence, commissioned to remix indie dance act Hercules and Love Affair’s “Blind” in 2008, as well as Whitney Houston’s 2009 comeback single “Million Dollar Bill.” Sadly, news hit yesterday that Knuckles died in his adopted hometown at the age of 59. To celebrate his life and legacy, we’re taking a look back at his biggest, most influential works.
10 Greatest Frankie Knuckles Tracks – Slant Magazine