Adolfo 'Shabba-Doo' Quiñones, Breakin' star and dance pioneer, dies at 65
Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" Quiñones, dance legend and star of the cult hit Breakin', died on Dec. 30 of unknown causes at the age of 65.
Singer and actress Toni Basil, who cofounded the Lockers dance troupe alongside Quiñones in 1971, shared the news via Twitter.
"It is with extreme sadness the Lockers family announces the unexpected passing of our beloved Adolfo Shabba-Doo Quiñones," she wrote. "In this difficult time we are requesting privacy."
Quiñones' final Instagram post on Tuesday gives insight into a recent medical struggle, confirming he was feeling better and had tested negative for COVID-19. A week prior, he shared via social media that his doctor ordered him to quarantine for 10 days after three negative tests.
"Good news y’all! I’m feeling all better I’m just a wee bit sluggish from my cold, but the good news is I’m COVID-19 negative! Woo hoo!!!" he wrote. "Anyway, I’m excited lots of catching up to do. Let’s gooo! Thank you to everyone for your kind, sweet, and loving get well wishes and thoughts."
Sheila E. also lamented the loss of her longtime friend, who performed professionally under the moniker Shabba-Doo, via Twitter.
"I just heard I’ve lost another friend Shabba do," she said. "A great Hiphop dancer. We toured together w/ Lionel Richie [in] 1983. Gosh, Rest In Peace, my brother."
Quiñones was born in Chicago in 1955 and would go on to become a breakdancing legend and one of the innovators behind the dance style known as locking. His career began as an original member of the Soul Train Gang on the hit dance series created by Don Cornelius, before he set his sights on bigger opportunities.
Prior to venturing into film, he choreographed and appeared in Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long" music video. His most famous movie role was the character of Ozone in the underground classic Breakin', one he reprised in the film's sequel Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. He also appeared in other big-screen titles including Lambada, Tango & Cash, and Xanadu.
Quiñones' website says he was developing a film based on his memoirs, The Godfather of Street Dance: The Dance Forefather of Hip Hop, about his life and the true origins of street-dance.
Throughout his nearly five decades as an entertainer, he also appeared on television in hit shows like What's Happening!!, Miami Vice, and Married... With Children. As a tour choreographer, he hit the road with the likes of Richie, Madonna, and Luther Vandross.