Pioneering house music producer Paul Johnson has died at the age of 50 after succumbing to complications of the COVID-19 virus.
The Chicago DJ had been hospitalized and placed in intensive care after contracting the coronavirus last month, according to NME. "Our greatness passed away this morning at 9am the house music legend we all know as PJ aka Paul Johnson," reads a statement shared on Johnson's Facebook.
Ubiquitously considered a pioneer in the house music scene, Johnson got his start in the industry as a break dancer in Chicago in the mid-90s. According to BBC, he was the first name mentioned on record by Daft Punk as one of the legendary duo's musical influences.
Prior to his tragic death, the late producer was revered as a role model for musicians with disabilities. After an accidental shooting in 1987 that left him paralyzed, he had one of his legs amputated. His other leg was eventually amputated following a car crash in 2010.
“The crappy life I’ve had health wise, that’s been nothing, man," he said in a 2014 interview. "That’s just been a shadow to what I’ve been doing, I don’t even see it, nobody sees it. It’s all about the music."
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Many prominent figures in the music community paid tribute to Johnson, whose 1999 single "Get Get Down" remains one of house music's most seminal.
"So sad to hear that Paul Johnson has lost his fight," wrote Defected Records founder Simon Dunmore. "Today has been tragic for our scene."
"Absolutely gutted! My idol," added renowned DJ and house producer Patrick Topping. "The best to ever do it."
We at EDM.com express our sincere condolences to the family, fans, friends, and loved ones of Paul Johnson.