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DJ AM Remembered One Year After His Death

Noel Vasquez, Getty Images

As the anniversary of the beloved DJ AM‘s death nears, his life and contributions to music are being celebrated and honored from New York to Los Angeles. AM, born Adam Goldstein, died of an accidental overdose on August 28, 2009 at the age of 36. He left behind a legion of fans across all realms of life, from clubgoers and music lovers to Hollywood celebrities, all of whom respected and adored AM, both as a DJ and as a man.

A slew of celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Rashida Jones and Heidi Montag came out to the AM tribute in Hollywood on Tuesday, where respected L.A. disc jockeys from Morse Code and Mike B to Samantha Ronson spun in celebration of AM’s life.

In New York City last night, a who’s who of NYC DJ’s including DJ Premier, Mark Ronson, Stretch Armstrong and Clark Kent united to similarly pay their respects at an event which was dubbed “Christmas for DJ’s,” despite the night’s mournful subtext.

Legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff, who frequently DJ’d with AM, a partnership that may never again be matched, remembers his legacy fondly, saying “What I miss most is the friendship. The talks about the golden years of hip-hop and the fact he would play a A Tribe Called Quest record at 1AM in the biggest club in Vegas.” Though Jeff was unceremoniously yanked during AM’s tribute in Las Vegas this past Wednesday, after the club’s management took issue with his selections, he said that he was glad to have had the opportunity to show up and support his former partner, and donate his time to AM’s charity.

As a DJ, AM was truly in a class of his own, due to his innate ability to read the crowd, superior song selection and technical skill; his impact on DJing was immeasurable. “AM was the reason most of the DJ’s that make a great living in places like Vegas, Atlantic City, Hollywood and New York,” Jeff explained. “He raised the bar as far as what a DJ’s importance is to a lot of these clubs and promoters. He made it Hollywood, and stamped it with the fact he was hip-hop.”

“AM was the last real dude that you would make sure that you saw play whenever he was in town,” remembered Shade 45′s DJ Wonder. “Since he’s been gone, I haven’t really heard any inspiring sets. The notion of a mainstream DJ being the whole show kind of died when he did.”

To contribute to DJ AM’s charity, or for more information, go to DJAM.com.

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