"Cha Cha Slide" Creator DJ Casper Has Died — Details

What was DJ Casper’s cause of death? The “Cha Cha Slide” creator died on August 7, 2023, at the age of 58 years old, his wife confirmed.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Aug. 8 2023, Published 9:22 a.m. ET

The Gist:

  • "Cha Cha Slide" creator DJ Casper died on Aug. 7, 2023, of kidney and neuroendocrine cancer.
  • The news was confirmed by DJ Casper's wife, Kim.

Creator of the "Cha Cha Slide," DJ Casper, passed away at just 58 years old on Aug. 7, 2023. DJ Casper brought joy to millions of people before his untimely death. Born Willie Perry Jr., DJ Casper’s life was marked by much more than his widespread jam.

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Casper was a family man who got his DJ name from the all-white getup he often wore onstage. He first wrote the “Cha Cha Slide” for his nephew, who worked as a personal trainer at Bally Fitness in 1998. But the song took off and became an anthem for weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, workout classes, and fun in the clubs. How did DJ Casper die?

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DJ Casper’s cause of death was kidney and neuroendocrine cancer.

Sadly, in January 2016, DJ Casper was diagnosed with cancer. DJ Casper gave more insight into his diagnosis during a May 2023 chat with ABC7’s Samantha Chatman in his home. “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."

In a 2018 interview surrounding his appearance on Orange Is the New Black, Casper announced that he was in remission. But sadly, in his more recent interview, we learned that his cancer was back with a vengeance. “I used to weigh 236 pounds, and I think I'm about 60 pounds less,” he shared.

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But DJ Casper’s recognizable voice shines through in more than his viral hit. "Anybody that's going through cancer, know that you have cancer and cancer does not have you," Casper said in an encouraging message. "So, keep on doing the 'Cha Cha Slide.'"

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DJ Casper’s wife, Kim, first shared the news of his death, and although we know Casper always put his family first, we don’t know much about who survives him or if he and Kim had any kids. Now, the whole world is mourning the loss of one of music’s most beloved voices.

Filmmaker and journalist Morgan Elise Johnson wrote, “Losing DJ Casper and Dj Deeon back to back has me in my feelings. We need to do more to document and celebrate Chicago cultural legends while they are here.” Casper’s friends and family wrote their own tributes on Facebook and Instagram as he “cha-chas” to heaven.

We send our condolences to DJ Casper’s friends, family, and fans.

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