MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Erick Morillo, an international disc jockey best known for his 1993 hit, “I Like to Move It,” was found dead at his South Florida home, authorities said Tuesday. He was 49.
Police received a 911 call at 10:42 a.m. to an apartment in Miami Beach after Morillo was found unresponsive in his bedroom, WPLG reported. Detectives were on the scene and in the preliminary stages of the investigation.
A cause of death has not been announced. Morillo has a long history of drug abuse, according to the Miami Herald. He told the Miami New Times in 2016 that three times he had to go to rehab for ketamine abuse.
Morillo was facing a sexual battery charge, the Herald reported. He was arrested early last month and accused of assaulting a woman, the newspaper reported. He was scheduled for a virtual arraignment hearing Friday, WPLG reported.
According to an arrest report, the woman told police Morillo made advances toward her, and then later, after she fell asleep on a bed, she woke up naked.
Morillo denied the accusations but turned himself in Aug. 6, with his attorney, John Priovolos, after the results of a rape kit tested positive for Morillo’s DNA, WPLG reported.
“I LIke to Move It” was used in DreamWork’s Madagascar, a children’s movie from 2005.
Morillo was born in New York in 1971, but his family was from Colombia, WTVJ reported.
After spending his preteen years in Colombia, Morillo returned to the United States and settled with his family in New Jersey, Variety reported. He teamed with musician El General and collaborated on the 1991 single, Muevelo, the magazine reported.
Morillo began releasing music under the pseudonym Reel 2 Real, and released “I Like to Move It” in 1993, Variety reported. The song became a global hit and led to his hit album, “Move It.”
Morillo founded Miami’s annual Crobar party, Variety reported. In 2012, a street in Union City, New Jersey, where he lived as a teen, was renamed Erick Morillo Way.
Cox Media Group