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Barack, Michelle Obama Pay Tribute to House Music Legend Frankie Knuckles

posted Apr 23, 2014, 6:15 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Apr 23, 2014, 6:16 AM ]
Apr 23, 2014 05:33 AM EDT  By Kris Reyes, Fashion Times Reporter

Michelle and Barack Obama
(Photo : REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque) U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sent a letter offering condolences to the family of Chicago producer Frankie Knuckles, who died due to complications of diabetes.

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are one with the grieving family and friends of Chicago house music pioneer Frankie Knuckles, who died in early April, the Hollywood Reporter said.

News reports said the Obamas sent a typed letter April 17, where, in addition to offering condolences, the U.S. president also paid tribute to Knuckles, calling the Chicago producer a "trailblazer in his field.".

"Frankie's work helped open minds and bring people together, blending genres to capture our attention and ignite our imaginations," the president wrote, according toFact Magazine.

The president also said that the music legend's "legacy lives on in the city of Chicago and on dance floors across the globe," the reports said.

DJ Morales posted the note, which was addressed to Knuckles family and friends, on his Facebook page, Fact Magazine reported. The letter was signed by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Knuckles died on April 1 due to complications with diabetes, the Rollingstonereported. He was 59.

Knuckles, who was born in the Bronx in 1955, started his New York DJ career in the early 1970s during his teen years. Ten years later, he moved to Chicago, where he introduced the method of joining disco hits and soulful sounds with a drum machine in club venues such as the Music Box and the Warehouse. He later moved to his own venue at the Power Plant.

He also formed Def Mix Productions with fellow DJ, David Morales, and the two worked with many popular stars, including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Inner City and En Vogue, according to reports.

In 1991, Knuckles signed an artist contract with Virgin, and then released his debut album "Beyond the Mix," which has the singles "The Whistle Song," "Rainfalls," and "Workout."

The city of Chicago renamed a part of Jefferson Street to "Frankie Knuckles Way" in 2004. Obama, who was a senator back then, also pushed to declare August 25 as "Frankie Knuckles Day" in Chicago, according to Rollingstone.

A year later, Knuckles joined other dance music legends following his induction into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.

"While he will be dearly missed, we trust Frankie's spirit will remain a guiding force," the Obamas' wrote in the letter.

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