If you’ve been at a wedding, a baseball game, a family reunion, or really just any event, you’ve probably done the “Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper. The Chicago rapper died Monday, at age 58, after battling cancer for seven years, according to ABC 7 of Chicago.
Casper, whose real name was Willie Perry Jr., released the legendary line dance back in 1998 for an aerobics class. The famous “Casper Slide Part 2” was released in 2000, and it took off around the country.
“When I first did it, I did it as an aerobic exercise for my nephew at Bally’s,” Casper told ABC 7. “From there, it just took off. Elroy Smith from WGCI grabbed ahold of it.”
You can’t hear “slide to the left” without jumping into immediate dance mode. You’ve probably been mentally criss-crossing since you clicked on this article.
That’s how powerful the impact of the song has been. While there aren’t definitive numbers out there for the number of times the song has been played, it did have some mild chart success back in 2000, reaching No. 1 on the UK pop charts. It reached 83 on the US Billboard Chart, but its impact is heard everywhere. It’s a staple of public experiences, alongside hits like the “Electric Slide,” and “Macarena.”
Casper was diagnosed with kidney and neuroendocrine cancers in 2016. He told Vanity Fair back in 2018 that he was in remission.