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Erick Morillo, DJ behind I Like to Move It, dies at 49

He died just days before he was due in court for a sexual battery charge.

DJ Erick Morillo at the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival.
DJ Erick Morillo at the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival.
Image: JC Olivera/SIPA USA/PA Images

ERICK MORILLO, THE DJ known for the 90s-era smash I Like To Move It, was found dead yesterday in Miami Beach. He was 49 years old.

Police responded to a 911 call yesterday morning, a spokesperson told AFP, who said detectives did not observe “apparent signs of foul play”.

Morillo died just days before he was due in court for a sexual battery charge.

The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of death, police said.

Born in 1971 in New York and raised between Colombia and New Jersey, Morillo became known under the pseudonym Reel 2 Real and dropped the hit I Like to Move It in 1993.

The song was a collaboration with the Trinidadian singer The Mad Stuntman — born Mark Quashie — and became an iconic Eurodance song with ragga vocals, a subgenre of dancehall and reggae.

A massive hit particularly across Europe, the song had a resurgence in 2005 when it was featured in the animated film Madagascar featuring Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Following the dissolution of Reel 2 Real, Morillo had a successful DJ career under a number of pseudonyms, and was known particularly for his contributions to the house genre.

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He was expected in court on Friday, accused of making unwanted sexual advances towards a woman when they were having drinks.

The woman said she woke up naked and Morillo, also nude, was next to the bed.

The late DJ originally denied the accusations but turned himself in after the results of a rape kit matched his DNA.

© AFP 2020

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