More details are expected later today, although several sources close to the iconic DJ/producer have said he suffered from complications related to Type II diabetes. Knuckles also developed the bone disease osteomyelitis in the past decade after a snowboarding injury broke several bones in his right foot. After refusing to rest for the year his doctor recommended — the Godfather of House didn’t want to stop DJing — Knuckles was eventually forced to amputate his foot in 2008.
“When I saw it was gone I had a good cry,” Knuckles told the Guardian, “but when I woke up the next morning I felt 1,000-percent better. I didn’t realize how much pain I’d been in until it was gone. It was like all of a sudden the sun came out.”
Countless clubgoers felt the same way about Knuckles’s sprawling DJ sets and the dance tracks he turned into all-out anthems, including “The Whistle Song,” the Jamie Principle collaborations “Your Love” and “Baby Wants to Ride,” and the Hercules and Love Affair remix (for their hit single “Blind”) that Knuckles delivered right before his foot surgery, a floor-filler that brought Knuckles out of retirement on the production side of things.
“[Music is] the one thing that calms people down,” Knuckles once told the Tribune. “Even when they’re hopping up and down in a frenzy on the dancefloor, it still has their spirits calm because they’re concentrating on having a good time, loving the music, as opposed to thinking about something negative. I think dancing is one of the best things anyone can do for themselves. And it doesn’t cost anything.”