Adolfo Quinones, the world-famous breakdancer and Breakin’ star best known by his nickname Shabba Doo, has sadly passed away at the age of 65. The news was announced by his family just one day after Quiñones posted a photo of himself in bed, revealing that he was feeling a “wee bit sluggish” from his cold, but had reported negative for Covid-19. A cause of death hasn’t been confirmed, but investigators say a roommate found the dancer unconscious on Wednesday night before he was later pronounced dead.
In an Instagram post, Quiñones’ sister Fawn addresses her brother’s passing by writing, “I Love You Special K my Big Brother Shabba Doo Ozone. My Heart is Broken apart we look alike and DANCE ALIKE MY HEART WIULL NEVER BE THE SAME IT HURTS!”
Born in Chicago in 1955, Quiñones was a member of The Original Lockers dance group alongside Fred “Rerun” Berry, Don “Campbellock” Campbell, and Toni Basil by the mid-1970s. This led to Quiñones bringing his dance moves to television and movies for special appearances, including a role on What’s Happening! in 1976.
In the following years, he’d also appear on other popular shows like Miami Vice, Married… with Children, and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Quiñones has also appeared in such movies as Xanadu, Tango & Cash, Steel Frontier, and Lambada. The dancer would also be featured in Lionel Richie’s music video for “All Night Long,” also serving as the dance choreographer for the project. As a choreographer, Quiñones has also worked with other big names like Madonna, Chaka Khan, and Luther Vandross.
Perhaps Quiñones’ best-known role was as Ozone in the 1984 dance movie Breakin’. In the movie, which also starred Lucinda Dickey and Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers, Quiñones plays an instructor who forms a dance troupe along with a street dancer (Chambers) and an aspiring dancer (Dickey). The movie was a hit at the box office and has come to be known as a cult classic in the decades since its original release.
Also in 1984, Quiñones reprised the role of Ozone for the sequel Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. This time, the dancers must work together to stop the demolition of a local community recreation center by a developer who wants to replace it with a shopping mall. The sequel was not quite as financially successful, though it did manage to cult following of its own and obtain a 3-star score from Roger Ebert. Another sequel, Rappin’, was released in 1985, though Quiñones did not return in the third installment.
Quiñones was married twice in his life, which includes marriages to Gwendolyn Powell between 1979-1982 and Lela Rochon between 1982-1987. The late dancer and actor’s survivors include a son and daughter, and our thoughts go out to them and the rest of Shabba’s friends and family at this difficult time. There will never be another like Shabba Doo, and though he is now no longer with us, his legacy will keep his memory alive. May he rest in peace. This news comes to us from TMZ.