Is house music the genre that will unite the City of Chicago? If last night’s jam packed tribute to Frankie Knuckles, the “Godfather of House Music” was any indication, Chicago is on its way to being a truly multicultural city. Last night at the “Bean” thousands of Frankie Knuckles fans gathered for a dance party with djs spinning music below the city’s Bean sculpture in Millennium Park. People from every segment of society was present, black white, latinos, Asians, young old, gay, straight all danced to the beats of house music.
The Frankie Knuckles Tribute presented by The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events was held 6:00pm-9:00pm in Millennium Park Central Promenade the “Bean”.
The lineup for the Frankie Knuckles Tribute event featured house music djs from around the world
- Mike Winston
- Craig Loftis
- Greg Gray
- Elbert Phillips
- Words by:
- Robert Williams
- Alan King
Watch #BVNews video as the diverse crowd of thousands dance to Frankie Knuckles “Whistle Song.”
Chicago is known to be a city of neighborhoods, each separated by borders of culture and class. Last night looked crowds at the Frankie Knuckles Tribute seems as if every part of the city was represented for a truly diverse melting pot.
#BVNews was live at the historic house music event. The “Bean” looked like colorful cornucopia with the variety of people mirrored in its reflection.
Without too much lyrics, the mixed beats is driving force behind house music. Regardless of the language of culture one represent, the beats make the body move. Frankie Knuckles house music has been popular for thousands of “house heads” since 1980s.
Born Francis Nicholls, he was known for his stage name, Frankie Knuckles, he passed away suddenly at age 59 in Chicago. Some fans held up programs from the Frankie Knuckles memorial service.
Chicago Tribune Music Critic Greg Kot wrote an article April 1, 2014 about the death of Frankie Knuckles. Kot wrote:
“He championed house music that wasn’t just about rhythm, but that embraced humanism and dignified struggle. It was in keeping with his belief that the dancefloor was a safe haven for the gay, African-American and Hispanic communities that first embraced him.”
“God has a place on the dancefloor,” he once told the Tribune. “We wouldn’t have all the things we have if it wasn’t for God. We wouldn’t have the one thing that keeps us sane – music. It’s the one thing that calms people down.”
Greg Kot, “Frankie Knuckles, house music ‘godfather,’ dead at 59” – Chicago Tribune
One fan, told #BVNews about his moving to Chicago from Memphis and listening first to Frankie Knuckles music, which he now identifies with being a Chicagoan. Watch #BVNews interview below.
This is the second time the City of Chicago hosted a Frankie Knuckles tribute since his passing on March 31, 2014. Within days of his death The Chicago Cultural Center held a gathering that turned into a large dance party to honor the great house music dj. This second and bigger tribute shows the city know the importance Knuckles played in bringing Chicago on the international scene for house music.
ABOUT Frankie Knuckles
Knuckles was born January 18, 1955 in The Bronx, New York. He later moved to Chicago where is developed his career as a dj in house music. He played an important role in developing and popularizing house music in Chicago during the 1980s, when the genre was in its infancy. Due to his importance in the development of the genre, Knuckles was often known as “The Godfather of House Music.” Chicago named a stretch of street and a day after Knuckles in 2004 for this role. His accomplishments earned him a Grammy Award in 1997. Knuckles was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005 as recognition for his achievements. Knuckles passed away March 31, 2014.
Are you a fan of Frankie Knuckles music? Share your comments below with #BVNews