In the summer of 1992, we here at Miami New Times wrote: "If the nightcrawlers of South Beach were to appoint a DJ King, they would most likely crown David Padilla."
And a decade later, he was still reigning over the Miami dance scene, "attract[ing] more than 2,000 hard-core clubbers" each and every night.
Today, though, Padilla is "partially paralyzed," his aunt Kirby Sommers tells Crossfade, after suffering a stroke.
A native of New York City, Padilla started DJ'ing in the late '70s and early '80s, filling dance floors at infamous Manhattan discos like Xenon and Studio 54. But then he moved to Miami and became a star.
For nearly 20 years, King David gigged almost every club that mattered, from the Beach to downtown. He helped pioneer Miami's afterhours scene. And he sat upon the throne at the Warsaw Ballroom, ruling the infamous gay nightclub's DJ booth while Madonna, Gianni Versace, his sister Donatella, and thousands of party boys, disco princesses, and other SoBe types mobbed the VIP.
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But sadly, as his aunt confirms, "David suffered a stroke in early December."
"At that time, he was not expected to survive," she adds. "However, he is strong. And although he is partially paralyzed, he is now aware of what happened to him.
"It has been a horrific ordeal for him," Sommers says. "However, he is facing this with dignity and the sort of courage I rarely see in anyone."