It could be plausibly argued that Knuckles was as important to the birth of contemporary dance music as James Brown was to soul or Chuck Berry to rock ‘n’ roll. And like those innovators, Knuckles helped nurture a deceptively sophisticated sound that celebrated and embraced outsiders and misfits — in Knuckles’ case, the gay African-American and Hispanic communities.
“God has a place on the dancefloor,” he once told the Tribune. “We wouldn’t have all the things we have if it wasn’t for God. We wouldn’t have the one thing that keeps us sane – music. It’s the one thing that calms people down.
“Even when they’re hopping up and down in a frenzy on the dancefloor, it still has their spirits calm because they’re concentrating on having a good time, loving the music, as opposed to thinking about something negative. I think dancing is one of the best things anyone can do for themselves. And it doesn’t cost anything.”