‘I Like to Move It’ DJ Erick Morillo dies at 49

The famed musician was found dead at his Miami home

"What We Started" Film Premiere At The LA Film Festival
Erick Morillo attends "What We Started" Film Premiere at the LA Film Festival on June 15, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for "What We Started") ()
Erick Morillo attends "What We Started" Film Premiere at the LA Film Festival on June 15, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for "What We Started")

Famed DJ Erick Morillo, known for his hit “I Like to Move It,” has died at the age of 49.

Miami Beach Police Department found Morillo dead in his Miami Beach home on Tuesday, People reports. They responded to a call that came in at 10:42 a.m., according to MBPD public information officer Ernesto Rodriguez. The manner of Morillo’s death remains under investigation until the medical examiner can determine the exact cause.

“Detectives are currently on scene and in the preliminary stages of the investigation,” Rodriguez wrote in an email to People.

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Morillo’s loved ones told the outlet that he would be deeply missed.

“He was well-loved by his family and he had a lot of love to give,” they said.

The tributes began to flood in for Morillo who left an imprint on music with his signature 1993 song “I Like to Move It” which he performed under the stage name Reel 2 Real. Sacha Baron Cohen covered the song for 2005’s Madagascar and Morillo produced it.

Coachella Valley Music
DJ Erick Morillo performs during Day 1 of the Coachella Valley Music Festival. (Photo: Getty Images)

He also earned two wins as the DJ Awards’ best house DJ, last receiving the honor in 2009, and three wins as best international DJ.

“Can’t believe it,” tweeted DJ Yousef. “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 were friends. Genuinely gutted. RIP.”

Morillo’s unexpected death came a month after he turned himself in to authorities in Miami on charges of sexual battery. The Miami Times reported that A fellow DJ accused him of raping her at his home last December.

The unidentified woman contacted police on Dec. 7 alleging that Morillo invited her and another woman back to his residence after she had worked as a DJ at a Star Island party.

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The woman accused Morillo of offering her a drink and after she changed into a bathing suit to join him in the pool, he then began to make advances that were “sexual in nature.”

She says she felt disrespected and changed back into her clothes. Morillo then apologized for his alleged behavior, and she accepted the apology.

Her complaint says that after she went to sleep on the second floor of his home, she woke up undressed with Morillo standing over her naked. She claimed to have experienced “flashes” of a rape.

Morillo denied the accusation, saying he’d only had sex with another woman at his home that night and was surprised to find the DJ in his bed. However, in July, a rape kit linked him to the accuser and he turned himself in on Aug. 6.

The New York-born DJ was raised in Columbia where he started his career, ultimately releasing 2 albums as Reel 2 Reel, 1994’s “Move It!”  and 1996’s “Are You Ready for Some More?”  In 2017, he admitted his struggles with alcohol abuse and ketamine addiction to Skiddle.

“I went to rehab three times and even after all three I never gave up alcohol,” he told the outlet. “That was what seemed to keep pulling me under. So, besides the fact that I hurt so many people, I think the most difficult part was coming to the realization that I was going to have to go completely sober.”

He said therapy had helped him overcome his addictions.

According to the Associated Press, Morillo was free on a $25K bond and had a court hearing on Friday.

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