‘I Like to Move It’ Creator Erick Morillo Dies in Miami

The recent string of celebrity deaths continues. Miami-based DJ and producer Erick Morillo was found dead in his home in Miami Beach at 49 years old. And though his name may be unfamiliar to some, his music isn’t.

Erick Morillo performs on stage during Rock in Rio Madrid 2012
Erick Morillo performs on stage during Rock in Rio Madrid 2012 | Carlos R. Alvarez/WireImage

What was Erick Morillo famous for?

For nearly 30 years, Erick Morillo helped bring electronic and dance music to the forefront and incorporate elements from different genres to get people on the dance floor. He got his start as a teenager in Colombia, where he mixed house music with many of the local sounds, as well as reggae and hip hop. Over the years, he performed under many different pseudonyms, such as Reel 2 Real, Deep Soul, and Club Ultimate.

Morillo built his career primarily as a DJ, taking up residencies in clubs all around the globe and creating all sorts of specialty nights and experiences.

Morillo released many different songs dance mixes throughout his career, but there was one song that became his calling card. His claim to fame was the 1993 hit single “I Like to Move It,” a wall-shaking dance anthem that gets people moving to this day.

Just how big was ‘I Like to Move It’?

At the time of its release, “I Like to Move It” was a worldwide phenomenon. It made a splash on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1994 and reached the top 10 on Billboard‘s Dance Club Songs chart. The song became a number 1 hit in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Zimbabwe, and sold over a million copies around the globe.

“I Like to Move It” became popular with younger generations with the song’s inclusion in the Madagascar movies. In the movie versions, Morillo teamed up with guest vocalists like Sacha Baron Cohen and will.i.am to turn the party for all the animals.

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Erick Morillo faced sexual assault charges in the days before his death

In August, Morillo was arrested in Miami in regards to an alleged rape charge. According to the allegations made by a fellow DJ, Morillo took her and another female friend to his home after they DJ’d a private party together on Miami’s ritzy Star Island.

According to the report, the woman fell asleep fully clothed in one of his bedrooms. She was naked when she woke up, with Morillo standing over her, also naked. When questioned about the incident by police, Morillo said he had sex with the other woman at the house.

Morillo turned himself in to Miami Beach Police in August on a sexual battery charge related to the incident, and was set to appear in court on September 4.

How did Erick Morillo die?

Miami Beach Police responded to a 911 call from Morillo’s home, where local law enforcement “did not observe any apparent signs of foul play.”

As of this writing, Erick Morillo’s cause of death has not been determined. He did not have any underlying health problems that have been public, so fans will have to wait until the medical examiner officially releases their results.