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Chaka Khan (#110 of 2)

10 Greatest Frankie Knuckles Tracks

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10 Greatest Frankie Knuckles Tracks
10 Greatest Frankie Knuckles Tracks

Though he was born and raised in the Bronx, Frankie Knuckles (née Francis Nicholls) called the Windy City home. Known in dance music circles as the Godfather of House Music, the DJ/producer is credited with helping to popularize Chicago house in the wake of disco’s greatly exaggerated demise, paving the way for the genre’s domination of the pop charts in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Cutting his teeth alongside DJ Larry Levan in the ’70s, Knuckles spun regularly at the Warehouse in Chicago, went on to open his own club, the Power Plant, and remix hits by everyone from Michael Jackson to Inner City.

Whitney Houston (1963 - 2012)

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Whitney Houston (1963 - 2012)
Whitney Houston (1963 - 2012)

A couple days had passed since Whitney Houston died, and I was still flipping through the channels looking for her name. If the grotesquely ironic circumstances of her death already seemed banal within a few hours of the news sinking in (thanks in large part to cable TV’s dependably crass repetition of the details), what was it I was still looking for? Some critic or musical collaborator who might confirm her genius and validate my fascination? The gratification of seeing my fan-grief shoved down everyone else’s throats? It seems right to be self-deprecating and embarrassed about my inability to let go of that voice booming out of my speakers, her beautiful image on the TV screen—as I know I must now that this weeklong coverage is mercifully over. But upon learning of her death, my reaction was similar to what Frank O’Hara described in his great roundabout elegy to Billie Holiday: However briefly, I started sweating and stopped breathing.