Adolfo Quiñones, the dancer, actor, and choreographer known as Shabba-Doo who specialized in the art of breakdancing, has died. He was 65.
He played Ozone in the two ‘Breakin’ films and worked with everyone from Frank Sinatra and Bette Midler to Madonna and Three 6 Mafia.
During the 1980s, breakdancing was not only a thing, it was the thing. A barrage of breakdancing movies flooded theaters like Beat Street to Wild Style. Kids and adults both flocked to see the films, but the biggest standout was the Breakin’ movie series. Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Bugaloo are two cult classics, in which Quinones starred in.
Shabba-Doo’s family announced his sudden passing in L.A. Wednesday, only a day after he had posted an image of himself in bed, saying he was feeling sluggish but had tested negative for COVID-19.
So far, no cause of death has been announced. Law enforcement sources tell us it appears a roommate found Shabba unconscious Wednesday night, and there were no signs of foul play.
Raised in a housing project in Chicago, Quinones was a founding member of the famed street-dance troupe The Lockers, and he appeared with other members including Fred Berry (Rerun from What’s Happening!!) and Toni Basil on Saturday Night Live in 1975.
Later, he performed as a member of the Soul Train Gang on television and in Bette! Divine Madness on Broadway.
Quiñones toured with Madonna as her primary dancer on her “Who’s That Girl?” Tour in 1987 and served as her choreographer on several of her videos. He also worked alongside Lionel Richie and Luther Vandross and choreographed Three 6 Mafia’s performance at the 2006 Academy Awards. That night, the group famously won the Oscar for best original song for “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”
After being accepted as a directing fellow at the American Film Institute — he didn’t have the required bachelor’s degree but got in with credit for his dance career — Quiñones helmed and co-wrote the musical Rave, Dancing to a Different Beat (1993), released by New Line Cinema. He also wrote, directed, and appeared in the 2017 documentary The Kings of Crenshaw, the title of his memoir that was published last year.
Quiñones starred opposite Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers as Turbo in Cannon Films’ Breakin’ (1984), then