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Chicago House Music Legend Chuck Roberts Dies at 66

MikeFlux | 11/06/2024

Chicago, IL – The house music world is in mourning as it bids farewell to one of its pioneering voices, Chuck Roberts, who passed away at the age of 66. Roberts, best known for his iconic vocal performance in the seminal house track “My House,” was a foundational figure in the development of the genre.

The Voice that Defined House Music

Chuck Roberts’ profound influence on house music is indelibly marked by his spoken-word performance in the 1987 track “My House” by Rhythm Controll. His stirring proclamation, “In the beginning, there was Jack, and Jack had a groove,” has become one of the most enduring and sampled lines in house music. This speech encapsulated the ethos of house music, emphasizing themes of unity, freedom, and the transformative power of dance.

Early Life and Career

Born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, Roberts grew up immersed in a rich musical environment. Influenced by gospel and soul, he began singing in church choirs, which honed his vocal abilities. As the house music scene began to take shape in Chicago’s underground clubs, Roberts found his calling.

His collaboration with Rhythm Controll in 1987 was a turning point. “My House” quickly became an underground sensation, and Roberts’ voice was thrust into the limelight. His words became a spiritual anthem for the house music community, encapsulating the genre’s essence and contributing to its global spread.

A Continuing Legacy

Beyond “My House,” Chuck Roberts continued to be an influential figure in the music industry. He collaborated with numerous artists and remained active in the scene, sharing his knowledge and passion with upcoming generations of musicians. His voice and message were featured in many tracks, cementing his status as a house music legend.

Roberts was also known for his mentorship and advocacy for house music. He frequently participated in music conferences, panel discussions, and educational programs, always championing the genre’s roots and encouraging innovation.

Tributes from the Music Community

The news of Chuck Roberts’ passing has led to a wave of tributes from fans, fellow musicians, and industry leaders. Social media platforms have been flooded with messages celebrating his life and contributions.

“Chuck Roberts was the voice of house music. His words and passion for the genre inspired us all. He will be deeply missed,” tweeted renowned DJ and producer Carl Cox.

“His iconic speech in ‘My House’ is a cornerstone of house music. Chuck Roberts’ legacy will live on forever,” wrote DJ Frankie Knuckles.

Remembering Chuck Roberts

While Chuck Roberts’ death is a profound loss to the music world, his legacy remains vibrant through the countless tracks that feature his voice and the numerous artists he inspired. His message of love, unity, and the unifying power of music will continue to resonate with house music fans around the globe.

As the house music community reflects on his contributions, Chuck Roberts’ voice will continue to echo through clubs, festivals, and dance floors, embodying the genre’s enduring spirit. His impact on house music is immeasurable, and his legacy will continue to inspire for generations to come.

In the immortal words of Chuck Roberts, “In the beginning, there was Jack, and Jack had a groove.” Thanks to Roberts, that groove remains eternal.

Written by MikeFlux


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