Frankie Knuckles (born January 18, 1955, New York) is an American DJ, record producer and remix artist. He played an important role in developing house music (an electronic, disco-influenced dance music) as a Chicago DJ in the 1980s and he helped to popularize house music in the 1990s, with his work as a producer and remixer. In 2005, Knuckles was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame for his achievements as a DJ.
Knuckles did a number of popular Def Classic Mixes with John Poppo as sound engineer. Knuckles partnered with David Morales on Def Mix Productions, and both men's mixing styles became very similar for a period in the early 1990s as they honed the formula for a "Def Classic Mix" sound. With several important original productions and remixes to his name, by the early 1990s, Knuckles was becoming a well-known name in the increasingly popular house music genre.
In 1991 he released his biggest hit to date, "The Whistle Song" which bears a slight similarity to Van McCoy's "The Hustle" in its whistle-like refrain. The Def Classic Mix of "Change" by Lisa Stansfield done around this period also features the whistle like motif. Knuckles' debut album - Beyond the Mix, released on Virgin Records also contained "Rain Falls" and featured vocals from Lisa Michaelis. Key remixes from this time include his rework of the Electribe 101 anthem "Talking With Myself" and "Where Love Lives" by Alison Limerick.
As his productions and remixes were becoming more popular, and he was also breaking new ground. When Junior Vasquez took a sabbatical from Manhattan's The Sound Factory, he took over and launched a successful run as resident DJ until Vasquez made his return, at which point Knuckles became the resident DJ at The Sound Factory Bar. Knuckles remained part of the underground scene. In 1992, Billboard's Larry Flick commented "He's probably the best dance music producer we have in America. He understands the groove, but he understands songs, and the whole picture." Knuckles won the 1997 Grammy Award for Remixer of the Year, Non-Classical.
By the late 1990s, house music was much less popular, and it was no longer the world leading music genre it had become. However, Knuckles continued to work as a remixer, revamping the material for singers such as Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Diana Ross, Eternal The Source ft. Candi Station and Toni Braxton. He released several new singles, including "Keep On Movin'" and a re-issue of an earlier hit "Bac N Da Day" with Definity Records. In 2004, he released a thirteen track album of original material - his first in over a decade, entitled A New Reality, which was critically well received. In October 2004 "Your Love" appeared in the popular videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on house music radio station, SF-UR.
On 19 September 2005, Knuckles was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame for his outstanding achievement as a DJ. Knuckles is featured in the 2006 documentary film, "The UnUsual Suspects - Once Upon a Time in House Music" by Chip E. and the 2005 documentary film, "Maestro" by Josell Ramos.