A figurehead of early Chicago house has come down with a serious illness. Marshall Jefferson has been taken to the hospital to seek treatment for a case of pneumonia.
The news first made its rounds after fellow Chicago artist Eric Welton posted about Jefferson’s condition on Facebook. “Family, please send a prayer up for Marshall Jefferson, who just informed me he’s in the hospital for pneumonia,” he wrote on January 4th. “Let’s put politics and beliefs aside for a moment. Life is precious. He asked no calls please.”
Jefferson, 61, posted himself the following day. “I really appreciate the love but right now I just don’t have the energy to talk to all of you on the phone – it’s too much,” he wrote via Facebook. Please don’t call! I’m in a serious fight. I love you all.”
Pneumonia can be the result of bacteria, fungi or viruses including influenza or COVID-19. Jefferson has not shared whether doctors know the root cause of his case.
Mashall Jefferson’s legacy in house music was cemented with the 1986 release of his single “Move Your Body,” a song whose branding declared it “The House Music Anthem.” He also worked closely with the late Larry Sherman of Trax Records, a label virtually synonymous with the proliferation of Chicago house.
2020 saw Jefferson re-enter the conversation around dance music, notably with the George Smeddles rework of “It’s Alright.” He also curated a New Years Eve compilation for Amazon that was featured in a Times Square advertisement – a first for the prolific DJ and producer.
Updates on Jefferson’s condition are likely to be shared in the coming days.
UPDATE: Marshall Jefferson has returned home from the hospital and his condition is said to have improved.