'Legendary Talent' and Influential New York Producer DJ Spinbad Dead at 46: Report

Ashley Boucher
·4 min read

Johnny Nunez/WireImage DJ Spinbad

DJ Spinbad has died. He was 46.

The DJ, whose real name was Chris Sullivan, reportedly died on Tuesday, though a cause of death is still unknown.

Spinbad was known as an influential DJ in New York's music scene and worked at the WHTZ radio station in New York.

On Wednesday, the station retweeted a tribute from radio host Phil Kross that read, "RIP my friend @djspinbad. When I first got my radio gig @Z100NewYork I had the privilege of hosting my Friday night mix show, while SpinBad would DJ it live. You will be missed. You will always be loved. K+"

In addition to several mix tapes, Spinbad had released two albums: Underground Airplay in 2001, followed by FabricLive.14 in 2004.

Reps for Spinbad did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Comedian Russell Peters shared a heartfelt tribute to Spinbad on Instagram, calling him "one of the most creative and brilliant minds" he's ever known.

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"This is a post I had hoped I’d never have to make but it’s with a broken heart that I have to say, bye to my brother, my friend, my DJ, one of the most creative and brilliant minds I’ve ever known," Peters wrote in the caption for a series of snaps with Spinbad.

"i can’t believe you’re not here anymore... trying to find the right pictures of us has me all f— up and crying, because we have waaaay too many memories together... I love you my brother and I don’t know how to keep it together..." Peters continued, adding the hashtags "#RIPDjSpinbad" and "#MyBrother"

Johnny Nunez/WireImage DJ Spinbad

DJ Yoda shared a grief-stricken tribute on Twitter, crediting Spinbad as a mentor and major influence on his own DJ career.

"I'm raw and almost unable to comment on this right now, but I've woken up to the news that Spinbad is gone," wrote Yoda. "This has hit me hard."

"Spinbad is one of the main reasons that I am a DJ. Let me tell you how important his infamous 80s pop mix is. Spinbad was the first hip-hop mixtape DJ to leave the comfort zone of rap music. He showed me that music isn't something you need to be embarrassed about."

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Yoda continued with an example of just "how influential" Spinbad was for him: "I spoke to Chris before I released 'How to Cut & Paste: The 80s Edition' to check it was OK with him that I even did it. I tried to put my UK/personal spin on it, but I had to shout him out on the mix itself because it wouldn't have existed without him."

"To this day, I talk about him when I get asked in interviews who my influences are," he went on. "The world is culturally emptier today without him — I wish I had the chance to say goodbye. I send love to his family, and today — listen to his 80s mix (the 90s one is amazing too). Rest in peace Spinbad."

Producer and DJ Mark Ronson also grieved Spindbad's death on Twitter, writing, "RIP @djspinbad. A true NY legend. Such a good guy, supporter of great music and technical master. Too soon."

"Damn, RIP DJ SPINBAD," wrote A-Trak on Twitter, adding that Spinbad was a "legendary talent."

Junior Sanchez also shared a tribute, saying on Twitter and Instagram that Spinbad's mixtapes "changed the game."

Sanchez added that the late DJ was an "incredibly creative from an incredible person 🙏🏽❤️."