Influential DJ and house music producer Jesse Saunders has been hospitalized after suffering a "major stroke," according to Chosen Few DJs, a collective of which he is a founding member.
"We have to sadly share some difficult news and ask for your prayers and support," reads a statement released by the collective. "Our brother Jesse Saunders has suffered a major stroke and is currently hospitalized in the Las Vegas area. Jesse will likely be facing a long and difficult rehab, and will need the love and support of the house music community to which he has given much."
Saunders was only in high school when his mentor, Wayne Williams, invited him to become a part of Chosen Few DJs, a legendary collective forged on Chicago's South Side that is widely credited for pioneering the house music genre.
In fact, Saunders himself is considered one of the genre's key originators. His track "On & On" is prevalently recognized as the first house music record ever pressed.
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Saunders in 1982 additionally opened up his own Chicago-based nightclub, which helped foster the growth of house music into what would become a local cultural touchpoint before going on to become a global phenomenon.