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David Mancuso, Iconic DJ and Founder of the Loft, Has Died at 72

According to reports spreading on social media Monday night, the legendary selector has passed away.
Image via Facebook.

David Mancuso, 72-year-old celebrated DJ and founder of New York's iconic party The Loft, has died, sources close to Mancuso have confirmed to THUMP.

Since the late 60s, Mancuso has been lauded as a selector, but his founding of the Loft on February 14, 1970 placed him at the forefront of New York's burgeoning underground club scene. Unlike the commercial clubs that existed at the time, Mancuso's Loft parties were private, providing a space for its members—often queer people—to dance without the threat of police interference. Over the decades of its existence, the Loft, and Mancuso at the center of them, became a hub for New York music, inspiring the many decades of DJs and parties that'd be thrown across the five boroughs in its wake.


A rare interview with Red Bull Music Academy in 2013 credited Mancuso with the inspiring, in part, the rise of DJing as a legitimate art form in its own right, and the Loft's audiophile approach to live sound no doubt inspired many of the pristine systems that have filled the world's best clubs ever since.

DJs across the world have already taken to social media to mourn the loss of, as Beats in Space's Tim Sweeney put it, "the original New York disco DJ."

RIP David Mancuso. The original New York disco DJ.

— Tim Sweeney (@BISradio)November 15, 2016

the man responsible for dance music culture as we know it has passed. RIP David Mancuso — Tommie Sunshine (@tommiesunshine)November 15, 2016

The cause of death has not been made public at press time.

DAVID MANCUSO. pioneer/titan of NYC nitelife. rest in peace xx — Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson)November 15, 2016

David Mancuso gave the Loft to the world as a celebration of music w a spirit of inclusivity & was all about the BEST version of humanity

— Hercules Love Affair (@HerculesLA)November 15, 2016

RIP David Mancuso. every DJ ever was in his shadow.

— Junior Boys (@Juniorboys)November 15, 2016

An astonishing legacy. — Paul Woolford (@PaulWoolford)November 15, 2016

Damn RIP David Mancuso ?

— AFTER HOURS (@JubileeDJ)November 15, 2016

Wow. RIP David Mancuso. 2016 is playing no games.

— Just Blaze (@JustBlaze)November 15, 2016

RIP David Mancuso i saw him a couple of times years ago on the Respect boat DJing barefoot on a rug that would always set a nice mood

— Teki Latex (@TekiLatex)November 15, 2016

ver sad to learn of the passing of DJ David Mancuso this morning… the man defined alternative club culture …. — Gilles Peterson (@gillespeterson)November 15, 2016