(CelebrityAccess) – Robert Ouimet, known as “The Godfather of Montreal DJs,” passed away Thursday (April 21) at the age of 74. The cause of death has not been disclosed.
Ouimet started his DJ career in the early 70s, landing at club Lime Light, where he was the main DJ until 1981. Lime Light, located in the center of Montreal’s bustling shopping district, was Montreal’s version of the famous disco club Studio 54. Ouimet worked the turntables – two at a time – as Disco began to take hold in popular culture. Ouimet proudly displayed the gold records earned for his role in the sales success of early songs like “Never Can Say Goodbye” by Gloria Gaynor and Bimbo Jet’s “El Bimbo” in a documentary on Lime Light, as reported by the Red Bull Music Academy.
In an online documentary chronicling the club Lime Light, fellow DJ Christian Pronovost said, “Lime Light was the conversation. I remember being in a record store, a young guy buying music, and people there were talking about this DJ, Robert Ouimet, at the Lime Light.”
“He’s the first one I saw mixing beat-to-beat in my lifetime, that’s for sure. He had the guts to play what nobody else wanted to play.” – Lime Light DJ Michel Simard
Via his bio, Ouimet won Best DJ in North America by Rolling Stone (1976), Best Canadian DJ from Billboard (1977), and won his JUNO in 1994 for Best Dance Recording for the song. “Thankful.”
Tributes have poured in across social media platforms upon news of his death.
“Robert Ouimet was the absolute reigning king of disco in Montreal and his brilliance as a DJ was recognized worldwide,” says Larry LeBlanc, senior Writer of CelebrityAccess. “He remained a force in clubs right up to his death.”
In an interview with the Montreal Gazette in 2012, Ouimet had this to say:
“I don’t feel like I’m a legend at all. I feel more like a pioneer. I’ve been doing this for a long, long time. I just really love music, and I love what I’m doing. And disco is happy music. You feel it because it’s from the heart.”