Despite a procession of young starlet girlfriends leading to both tabloid-coverage overload and a cameo on Entourage, DJ AM became a “celebrity DJ” because of his talent, not by being a celebrity who dabbled in DJing. Now a new wrinkle has emerged in his strange story: Gone Too Far, the reality TV show about drug addiction that DJ AM filmed before his death from a drug overdose, will air tonight on MTV.
But these developments continue to distract from AM's musical legacy. Considered the No. 1 DJ in the country when he died a month ago, other DJs praised him for being equally adept at controlling the high stakes mega-clubs of Las Vegas as he was at wowing music aficionados crammed in a backyard spot in Los Angeles. He was renowned for both seamlessly incorporating obscure new music into a set of familiar favorites and devising inventive ways to make well-worn songs sound fresh.
Though DJ AM, whose real name was Adam Goldstein, was singular in his place among DJs, the following are some of the others who are working in his tradition.
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Eric Ducker is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in publications including the Los Angeles Times, GQ and The Fader. He is based in Los Angeles.