DJ and music producer Erick Morillo, who produced the ’90s track “I Like to Move It,” was found dead in Miami Beach on Tuesday morning, a spokesperson for the Miami Beach Police Department confirmed to TheWrap. He was 49 years old.
Miami Beach police officials told TheWrap they found Morillo’s body after responding to a 911 call at his home in Miami Beach.
The cause of death is currently unclear but detectives did not observe any apparent signs of foul play. The cause of death will be determined by the Miami Dade Medical Examiner’s Office.
Morillo was well known in the international house music space and was perhaps best known for his ’90s track “I Like to Move It,” which he released under the stage name Reel 2 Real. He was also the three-time winner of the DJ Awards’ Best House DJ and a three-time winner of Best International DJ. His most recent win was in 2009.
He also produced music under various other pseudonyms, including Minsters de la Funk, The Dronez, RAW, Smooth Touch, RBM and Deep Soul.
Morillo was born in 1971 in New York but spent most of his early years in Cartagena, Colombia, where he lived with his family. He moved back to the United States at the age of 11, which is when he began DJing at weddings for friends and family. He began DJing at local clubs in New York City, where he met Latin reggae star El General, with whom he collaborated in 1991 on the single “Muevelo” as well as “Anasthasia,” which went platinum. He then met house veteran “Little” Louie Vega, with whom he worked on the 1992 house anthem “Ride on the Rhythm.”
“I Like to Move It” solidified Morillo’s spot in the house genre.
In August, Morillo was arrested and charged with sexual battery. The victim alleged she and Morillo went to his place after they were both DJing, where she said she resisted his sexual advances. According to NBC Miami, Morillo denied the accusations but turned himself in after the rape kit tested positive for Morillo’s DNA. He was scheduled for a court hearing on Friday.
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