‘Breakin’ Star Adolfo ‘Shabba-Doo’ Quiñones Dead at 65

by Gina Williams

December 30, 2020

The breakdancing, pop-locking world lost a legend. Adolfo ‘Shabba-Doo’ Gutierrez Quiñones, better known by his stage name Shabba-Doo, died at the age of 65.

His longtime friend and former dance mate of the group The Original Lockers, Toni Basil, made the announcement on Twitter.

“It is with extreme sadness The Lockers family announces the unexpected passing of our beloved Adolfo Shabba-Doo Quiñones,” she announced.

Known as the Godfather of Street Dance, Shabba-Doo was an actor, dancer, and choreographer perhaps best known for his role as Orlando “Ozone” in the 1984 hit cult breakdancing film Breakin’ and the sequel, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.

CHICAGO – OCTOBER 1985: Dancers Boogaloo Shrimp and Shabbadoo performs at the U.I.C. Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois in October1985. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

 

In his last Instagram post, a day before his death, the actor posted an image of him lying in bed. He gave fans an update on a cold that he was recovering from. The actor revealed, although he was under the weather, he was COVID-19 negative and feeling better.

“Good new 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,” the actor captioned under the post. “I awoke this morning to a gift from my pal, George ‘DJ 360MIX’ Jett! Thanks man! 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. Oh, I didn’t sleep in my beanie and glasses, lol, I donned them cause my vanity kicked in and didn’t want you to see my bed head, and crusty eyes, haha… Have a great day peeps.”

 

Shabba-Doo had been battling cold-like symptoms for a few days. In another post he told his fans that his doctor advised him to undergo a third COVID-19 test.

“After my doctor visit and evaluation of my symptoms this morning I’ve been ordered to quarantine for 10 days and scheduled a third COVID-19 test this Thursday, December 24, 2020,” he wrote.

 

Ironically, days earlier, the dancer posted on the death of a fellow friend in the industry, John “Ecstasy” Fletcher from the 1980s rap group Whodini.

“R.I.P. John “Ecstasy” Fletcher of the legendary rap group Whodini,” he wrote under an image of the group. “I have nothing but fond memories of you brother, while touring the States back in the mid-1980s on the Fresh Tour!”

 

Fond memories indeed, the 1980s brought rap music, boom boxes, bright clothes, dance battles, and more. And, Breakin’ was a film that captured the essence of it all. Weeks before Shabba-Doo’s untimely death, his co-star and best friend in the film, Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers, posted a throwback image of them on the set of Breakin’ alongside the late boxing legend Muhamed Ali.

 

Adolfo ‘Shabba-Doo’ Quiñones’ cause of death has yet to be announced. He died in his home.

 

Shabba Doo, 1986. (Photo by Getty Images)

Things You May Not Have Known About ‘Shabba-Doo’: 

1) Connection to Fred “Rerun” Berry

Aside from his classic performance in the Breakin’ films, Shabba-Doo was a member of The Original Lockers which included famed actor Fred “Rerun” Berry, Don “Campbellock” Campbell, and Toni Basil. Shabba-Doo was noted as one of the innovators of the dance style locking.

2) Married to a Hollywood Actress

Shabba-Doo was married to actress Lela Rochon from 1982-1987. The two didn’t have any kids together.

3) Choreographer to Legendary Singers

Besides his acting and dancing work in film and television, Shabba-Doo served as a choreographer to many singers, such as Lionel Richie, Madonna, and Luther Vandross.

4) Choreographer on Madonna’s Hit Tour

Shabba-Doo was a primary dancer and main choreographer for Madonna’s Who’s That Girl? Tour in 1987.

5) Choreographed Three Six Mafia’s Award-winning Song

Shabba-Doo choreographed Three Six Mafia’s performance at the 78th Academy Awards (the year the group won an Oscar for best original song for their song It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp).

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