5 Mag been asked by his aunt to inform our readers that Chicago house music legend Paul Johnson has passed away.

Paul died this morning at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, Illinois. We are praying for the comfort and to alleviate the grief of his family and his friends.

There will never be another Paul Johnson. Ever.

The Paul Johnson Story is one of 5 Mag’s oldest and most visited profiles of any DJ. The interview was conducted by phone while he was in the hospital back in 2006. Later we would interview him in our project devoted to the life of his friend, Armando Gallop, which touched a lot on Paul’s early life too.

In 2010 we filmed Paul Johnson for The Project, our profiles of 40 Chicago house producers. Here is that video.

Paul Johnson for 5 Magazine from Czarina Mirani on Vimeo.

The Paul Johnson story is bigger than any individual record, or club, or magazine story. He overcame more hardship than probably anyone else in the scene I’ve ever met.

And he was absolutely beloved. Paul was hospitalized shortly before a gig he was supposed to do with 5 Mag and Rees Urban back in 2010. The party instead became a benefit that raised $3,000 from passing the hat around at Smartbar, which was delivered to Paul the next day in his hospital bed.

Lots of DJs have fans. Paul had family, and it was a tribe that circled the world.

Paul Johnson was Chicago house, and Chicago house is a lot less bright today.

If Paul’s family have further statements, we will be publishing them here. Our deepest condolences to the millions of people that Paul touched through his life and his music.

Updated August 4 2021 7:41pm: Paul Johnson’s aunt has asked us to pass on this information:

There is no “Paul Johnson Memorial Fund.”

Anything you see asking for money right now is fake.


Do not contribute to anything being circulated right now asking for funds for Paul Johnson.


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