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Frankie Knuckles plays at the Def Mix 20th Anniversary Weekender at Turnmills nightclub on May 6, 2007, in London. 

Claire Greenway/Getty Images

The legendary Frankie Knuckles, the “godfather of house music,” passed away at the age of 59 on Monday. Knuckles’ longtime business partner, Frederick Dunson, confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that Knuckles died unexpectedly of complications related to diabetes.

The Grammy Award-winning producer and DJ, who was born Francis Nicholls in the Bronx, N.Y., on Jan. 18, 1955, pioneered new sounds in the 1970s that made house music what it is today. The Chicago-based DJ boasts an iconic discography that was enjoyed by fans from around the world. Some of his classics include “Baby Wants to Ride” and “Your Love.”

Not only did Knuckles make classic hits for himself, but he was also instrumental in mixing tracks for Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Depeche Mode.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement in which he described Knuckles as one of the city’s “most treasured cultural pioneers.”

People all over social media have been remembering the icon today:

May he rest in peace.

Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.

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