Lest you need convincing of Paul Johnson’s legendary status, look no further than Daft Punk’s 1997 track “Teachers.” It's a roll call of house and techno’s most influential names, and Johnson’s is first on the list. The producer/DJ was a transformative voice in Chicago house who not only introduced sampling as a key production tool, but reworked house's drum patterns for maximum danceability. His early bass- and kick-heavy tracks for Dance Mania, such as “Feel My M.F. Bass” and “Bootycall,” helped move house from its more languid pace to a quick-mixing, uptempo style. But with just as much facility, he could dial it back and craft shuffling, piano-led anthems like 1999’s “Get Get Down,” which became a Top 10 single in the UK, Netherlands, and France. Long before he released his first single, Johnson was shot and paralyzed from the waist down; years later, he lost both of his legs in two separate incidents. But he spoke openly about never letting his physical hindrances hold him back, and continued to record and perform until his death from COVID-19 complications on August 4, 2021, at age 50.