The man behind the famous “Cha Cha Slide” recently opened up about his battle with cancer.
DJ Casper – whose real name is Willie Perry Jr. – was diagnosed with kidney and liver cancer in 2016, according to ABC7. He recently opened up about his battle with cancer — peep the clip above.
“When he found out, it was kind of hard, because he’s always been a free-flowing person. So, to be stopped in his tracks was difficult for him, but I think he’s come to the point now that he’s accepted it,” Perry’s wife, Joyce, previously told Jet magazine about the diagnosis.
Three years later, Perry is now celebrating remission.
“Maybe in the process of me going through the cancer situation, that was God’s way of just slowing me down just a little bit,” he told ABC7. “But he kept me here for a reason, definitely for a reason.”
The DJ now spends time at John H. Stroger, JR. Hospital of Cook County in Chicago supporting other cancer patients.
“If you have the disease that they call cancer and you feel that you can get up and do this dance, let’s do it because that makes you feel better,” he said. “As long as you’re keeping that positive mind like, ‘Hey, we’re gonna beat this, I’m gonna win,’ you know you can do it.”
Next August will mark the 20th anniversary of the “Cha Cha Slide.”
Casper wrote the original song in 1999 using an existing music track titled Plastic Dreams written by Jaydee, per ChicagoNow.
“Actually the Cha Cha Slide was a whole other song. It was about 15 minutes long and produced as an aerobic exercise, it wasn’t even a dance,” Casper explained to the outlet, “the people around Chicago made it a dance.”
He also recalls the time he realized his song was a hit outside fitness centers.
“I got phone calls from the radio station and Elroy Smith from WGCI called me and said ‘man they say you got a hot song out and its called the Cha Cha Slide. I was like, ‘I gotta an aerobic workout called the Cha Cha Slide,’ and he said, “no, they say this is a song, there’s a dance,” he explained.
Casper decided to publish a shorter version of the song for radio but when he couldn’t secure the rights to the Plastic Dream track, he created “Casper Slide Part 2” with original music performed by the Platinum Band.
“That’s the one that everyone is using. That’s the actual song that’s being played on all the commercials, McDonald’s, Saturday Night Live, and Slim Jim,” said Casper, “its the Casper Slide Part 2 that actually took off.”
The song has been selected by NFL-Pepsi to honor the NFL’s 100th Anniversary.