Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quiñones Dies: Dance Pioneer & ‘Breakin” Star Was 65

UPDATED with statement from The Estate of Michael Jackson: Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quiñones, one of the forefathers of hip hop dancing and known best for his roles in the 80s breakdancing films Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo, has died. He was 65.

Quiñones’ death comes one day after he posted an Instagram photo of himself saying he was feeling “sluggish” from a cold, but had tested negative for COVID-19.

A post shared by Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones (@officialshabbadoo)

Shabba-Doo was one of the members of The Original Lockers, innovators of the dance style commonly known as locking. One of his fellow dance crew members, Toni Basil, announced Quinones death on Wednesday. No cause of death was given.

“It is with extreme sadness the Lockers family announces the unexpected passing of our beloved Adolfo Shabba-Doo Quinones. In this difficult time, we are requesting privacy,” Basil wrote in a statement on Twitter.

Born and raised in Chicago, Quiñones moved to Los Angeles in the early ’70s. He was an Original Soul Train Gang member, and went on to star as Ozone in the classic dance films Breakin and Breakin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo, as well as the 1990 film Lambada. Quiñones also appeared in Rave – Dancing to a Different Beat, which he also directed.

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Also an award-winning musical theater choreographer, he had choreographed for Lionel Richie, Madonna, Luther Vandross, and Jamie Kennedy’s MTV show, Blowin’ Up, among others. He also served as the associate choreographer and lead dancer for the 78th Academy Awards, performing with first time Oscar winners, Three Six Mafia and Taraji P. Henson for their performance of “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”

Quiñones also choreographed for Michael Jackson.

“We are heartbroken by the passing of Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quiñones and send our condolences to his family,” The Estate of Michael Jackson said in a statement. “Shabba-Doo was a genius and innovator who put body and soul into his dance and choreography. Michael worked with him over the course of many years including on the BAD short film and loved and admired him greatly.”

Quiñones guest-starred on numerous TV shows, including The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Married… with Children, Miami Vice, What’s Happening!!, Saturday Night Live and Lawrence Leung’s Choose Your Own Adventure.

Madonna is among those sharing a remembrance of Shabba-Doo on social media.

Additional tributes follow below:

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