News \ News \ Scene

Paul Johnson has died, aged 50

He had been suffering from Covid-19

2021 Aug 04      Issue: 20
2 Bit Thugs

Perhaps the best-known house producer with a disability, Johnson was a figurehead of the Chicago house scene from the early 90s onwards

House pioneer Paul Johnson has died at the age of 50 after losing a weeks-long battle with coronavirus. The news of his death was announced on his Facebook page this morning.

Born in Chicago on 11 January 1971, Johnson will be best remembered by many for Get Get Down, a worldwide smash in 1999. But that was just one record in a career that stretched back over 30 years: he made his debut with the six-track Vol. #1 EP on the Chicago Underground label in 1992, and would go on to have releases on many of the world's most respected house and techno labels, including Relief, Peacefrog, Dance Mania, Djax Up Beats, Farris Wheel and many more. 

He also recorded six studio albums, starting with Bump Talkin' for Peacefrog in 1995, and in 1997 he co-founded the Dust Traxx label, alongside Radek Hawryszczuk.

After being shot in 1987, Johnson was paralysed from the waist down. His legs were eventually both amputated – one in 2003, the other in 2010 – but he nevertheless continued to DJ in nightclubs right up till the start of the pandemic.

That we will never have a chance to hear him do so again is a tragedy, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.





Tags: Paul Johnson, coronavirus, Chicago