Frankie Knuckles, a DJ who inspired millions of people to dance to house music, has had to have his leg amputated due to complications from diabetes.

Reports on the web suggest that the DJ otherwise known as the ‘godfather of house’ is in recovery after the operation, and messages of support from fans are being posted on forums as you read this.

Frankie Knuckles, the ‘godfather’ of house

One message from a fan read: “I can literally remember exact moments on the dance floor, what was playing, who I was dancing with, and yes, what I was wearing (hello).

“One such memory involves the classic Frankie Knuckles track, ‘The Whistle Song’. It was the last song of the night. Or, more specifically, it was the first song of the day.

“The setting was a Hunter’s Point warehouse, and the industrial gate had just been lifted, exposing the white daylight.

“Fog swirled inside the warehouse from under the gate, exchanging humid dancing air for semi-toxic fresh air.

“The DJ (sorry, I can’t remember who you were) played the ‘Whistle Song’ and everyone went nuts for a few reasons.

“One, it’s a great fucking song, the perfect, ethereal morning song. And second, how can you not go nuts when you know the party’s almost over? Didn’t we live for this shit? The party ending was something I had a hard time facing.

“Thanks for the perfect morning, Frankie Knuckles, for making me always want more.”

Born on January 18 1955, Frankie Knuckles played a crucial role in the development of house music as a DJ in Chicago in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

His DJ residency at the Warehouse club, which began in 1977, is widely credited as being the birthplace for house music.

In August 2004 Jefferson Street in Chicago was renamed ‘Frankie Knuckles Way’, as it was near the site of the Warehouse.


Frankie Knuckles has publicly responded to news that he had to have his leg amputated, correcting some of the facts that were reported.

It was not his leg, but rather his foot that had to be amputated, and it was not because of diabetes but rather a disease called osteomialitis.

Here is his response below, as posted on Defected’s messageboard.

Recently there has been a lot of scuttle-butt going around on the internet about me and my health. Apparently, someone perpetrating that they are a friend or someone close to me felt it necessary to use me and my PERSONAL HEALTH in an open forum for public discussion. I feel violated and disrespected.

Let me say this; Anyone that knows me personally or, anyone that I’ve been in close proximity to on a personal level will tell you that I’ve never been anything less than a gentleman. Oh, I can be as silly as the next one but, never disrespectful, mean or, malicious. However, I am an intensely private individual and don’t take kindly to having to explain myself.

But, to put these rumors to rest, here’s what’s been going on;

Almost 10 years ago I broke my right foot. And instead of sitting still and allowing it to mend properly, I returned to the road and continued to travel during the healing process.

Well, the foot never really healed properly and over the past 10 years continued to give me great difficulty. Throughout that period I developed a disease in my foot called osteomialitis (it’s a disease of the bone).

For years I worked with my doctors to combat this illness and they informed me (to a degree) that all this work was pretty much the equivalent of putting a bandaid on the situation. Eventually, it was going to get the better of me and I’d be left with no other choice but to have my foot amputated.

Well, I praise my doctors for helping me put up a good fight. But what was inevitable came to fruition on July 3rd. I didn’t lose my leg but I did lose my foot. it was necessary because the disease was beginning to travel up my leg, threatening my heart.

I didn’t have a problem losing my foot. After all, I still have another. But I did have a problem losing my life. This is the only one I have.

This disease I developed wasn’t diabetic related. The fact that I have diabetes may have compounded it to a degree (in it’s latter stages). But you’ll all be happy to know that I’m doing very well. I’m 1000% better now that my body is rid of the disease and I’m no longer living in pain. I lived with that pain for almost 10 years and most of you never knew it. And you weren’t supposed to.

We’ve shared entirely too many good times over the years in every city and country I visited around the globe. I did my job and tried to remain respectful of the job at hand when it came to coming and playing for you. And when this thing got to be too much for me, I did what was necessary to correct it. But it was evident that I was going to lose my foot. And that was/is a private matter. One that I share with my family and very close friends. I just wish that instead of someone opening a forum about it here online, that I would’ve been trusted well enough by everyone to know that I would make a statement about it.

Just know that I’ve been doing everything in my power to get better and turn this situation around. I can’t thank you all enough for your prayers and well-wishes. Your blessings were well received. For the past 3 months I’ve been here at home, I’ve managed to rise every morning with a smile on my face and endure every obstacle that’s been put in my path, to get back to where I need to be. On a dance floor with you. I can’t thank you all enough for the love and respect you all continue to give me.

I am a very fortunate man.

Maximum Love & Infinite Respect~