According to Local News 10, police officers responded to a 911 call at 10:42 a.m. on La Gorce Drive. Detectives are currently, “on scene and in the preliminary stages of the investigation,” according to an email received by the outlet.
Morillo, the creative mind behind the song “I Like to Move It,” won a number of awards for his work over the course of his career, including three DJ Awards for “Best House DJ” in 1998, 2001 and 2003, and three “Best International DJ” Awards in 2002, 2006 and 2009.
Here’s what you need to know:
Morillo Was Charged With Sexual Battery Just Over 3 Weeks Ago
News of Morillo’s death comes just three weeks after he was arrested and charged with sexual battery.
According to Local News 10, Morillo and the woman who accused him were DJing at a private party in Miami Beach in December. They both returned to Morillo’s home, where the victim alleged that Morillo “made several advances towards her, some sexual in nature, but she refused all of his attempts.” The next morning, according to the outlet, the woman “reported waking up nude on the bed, with Mr. Morillo standing on the side of the bed also nude.”
Morillo denied the accusations. However, he turned himself in after DNA results from a rape kit came back and tested positive for Morillo’s DNA, according to Local News 10.
He Performed Under a Variety of Names
Born in New York in 1971, Morillo performed under a number of names, including Ministers de la Funk, The Dronez, RAW, Smooth Touch, Deep Soul, Club Ultimate and Li’l Mo Ying Yang.
In a 2017 interview with EDM, Morillo was asked to discuss his proudest achievements. He said:
I mean, for me, obviously, having launched the label and the first 3-4 years people just bought whatever we put out, and having won the hearts of retail people and the DJs. And this is back in the day when vinyl was the big thing. And for me that was one. Working with Jocelyn Brown, and Louie Vega, and working with a bunch of talented producer that I have…I don’t wanna be a business guy anymore, now I’m focused on being an artist. And y’know, really, the label is more about a banner to represent myself and the DJs and producers that work with me. So I’m just really excited that I’m able to be in the place that I am right now. Really what we’re doing is putting out a record every two weeks and everything is quality.
More recently, Morillo opened up about what has changed in the industry over his career. He replied, “When I first started DJing we all played vinyl and now we use USBs and or use laptops. Also, DJs used to actually mix music whereas nowadays that is optional.”
He went on to say that technology, in general, has made it easier for people to experiment with DJing. “… I am grateful for the innovations that have transpired over the course of the last 15 years,” he said in an interview with Edgar magazine.
Friends & Fans Mourned Morillo’s Death on Social Media
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Had a great chat with @mistajam @raye @kevinsaunderson and @funkbutcher discussing Black Culture and Dance Music for @bbcradio1 (link in bio) Tuve una gran charla con @mistajam @raye @kevinsaunderson y @funkbutcher discutiendo sobre la Cultura Negra y la Música Dance para @bbcradio1 (enlace en perfil)
The DJ last posted on Instagram on July 31. He uploaded a video interview discussing Black Culture and Dance Music.
A number of friends and fans have mourned Morillo’s death on social media.
😳💔 Can’t believe it. Only spoke to him last week… he was troubled, less than perfect but was always amazing to me and helped us get circus going in the early days, and we had many amazing times over the 20 years we we’re friends. Genuinely gutted. RIP @ErickMorillo 🤯
— Yousef (@yousefcircus) September 1, 2020
Musician Yousef wrote on Twitter, “Can’t believe it. Only spoke to him last week… he was troubled, less than perfect but was always amazing to me and helped us get circus going in the early days, and we had many amazing times over the 20 years we we’re friends. Genuinely gutted. RIP.”
This post will be updated with more information as it becomes available.