‘Cha Cha Slide’ Creator Dies At 58

In 2016, Willie Perry Jr., who is better known to the world as DJ Casper, was diagnosed with cancer. In an interview with ABC7 in May 2023, he explained, “They diagnosed me in 2016 with two kinds of cancer, which is renal and Neuroendocrine, which is kidney and liver.” He added, “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.”

Now, comes the sad news that Casper has lost his battle with cancer. He died on Monday August 7th. His family was with him. He was 58 years old.

Casper’s wife, Kim, announced her husband’s death in a statement. She shared, “Casper was a fun-loving, giving person.” She added, “He was a genuine, family oriented man. He loved Chicago with all his heart. He will be greatly missed.”

Casper is probably best known for a popular line dance he created called the “Cha Cha Slide.” He never expected it to be internationally popular. In the interview in May, which ended up being his final interview, he explained, “When I first did it, I did it as an aerobic exercise for my nephew at Bally’s.” He added, “From there, it just took off. Elroy Smith from WGCI grabbed ahold of it.”


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A post shared by Casper Perry (@officialdjcasper)

The song and dance truly were international hits. He thought it probably became popular because “it was something that everybody could do.” Now, “Cha Cha Slide” is part of his legacy. He explained just how popular the song is. He said, “I have one of the biggest songs that played at all stadiums: hockey, basketball, football, baseball; they played it at the Olympics.”

As of May, cancer had drastically impacted Casper’s health including his weight. He shared, “I used to weigh 236 pounds, and I think I’m about 60 pounds less.” He was determined not to give up. He explained, “I’m going to continue to go. I’m going to continue to go until I can’t go.” His message for the world about cancer was, “Anybody that’s going through cancer, know that you have cancer and cancer does not have you.”

Parting thoughts from Casper: “Keep on doing the ‘Cha Cha Slide.'”

Rest in peace.