BRONZEVILLE — House music legend DJ Paul Johnson died Wednesday while hospitalized with coronavirus. He was 50.
Johnson’s agents and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed his death, which also was announced on his Facebook page.
Johnson, best known for his 1999 hit “Get Get Down,” was a fixture on the House circuit since the mid-’80s. He started as a 13-year-old DJ before becoming a revered producer and creating his own House label, Dust Traxx. Recently, Johnson was spinning regularly at Le Nocturne in Uptown.
The Chicago native enjoyed global success, playing venues across six continents.
Johnson was admitted to Little Company of Mary Hospital in suburban Evergreen Park in mid-July, a week after being diagnosed. He then was placed on a ventilator, which he chronicled on his Instagram page.
Last week, longtime friends said Johnson was improving and breathing on his own. Friends focused on his recovery and rallied around him to support him through his illness.
In a statement Wednesday, Johnson’s agents said he died of complications from COVID-19 and asked for privacy for his family.
“Initially hospitalized on July 17, Paul Johnson fought up until the very end,” the statement read. “His death comes as a shock to family and fans alike.
“Paul’s charismatic spirit made him a friend to many and an inspiration to all. The Johnson family is devastated, the outpouring of support has been tremendous and for that they are grateful.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Family friend Eloise Karlatiras said a fundraiser page in support of Johnson has been circulating, but there is no official fundraiser from his family or friends at this time.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.