Kelli Hand, the house and techno music legend better known as K-Hand, has reportedly died at the age of 45.
As reported by MixMag, the news of Hand’s passing has been confirmed by a number of her close friends via social media. Her cause of death has not yet been revealed.
The Detroit-based DJ and producer was a pioneer of the dance music industry, with a career spanning more than three decades.
After founding Acacia Records, she went on to release several of her own albums and EPs, as well as music from producers like Sean Deason, Claude Young, Wamdue Kids and Hiroshi Morohashi.
In 2017, Hand was officially recognised as “The First Lady of Detroit” for her contributions to electronic music when the city of Detroit awarded her its Testimonial Resolution certificate.
According to MixMag, the award celebrated her significant “skills within a male-dominated industry”.
Hand was one of the first women to release house and techno during the 1990s and was also the first Detroit producer to release music on Warp Records back in 1994.
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On top of that, she was the first artist to release an album on Germany’s Studio !K7 in 1995.
As a DJ, Hand regularly performed around the world and appeared at festivals like Movement Detroit, as well as clubs including Paris’ Concrete and Rex, Berlin’s Berghain and Tresor, New York’s Nowadays and Good Room, London’s Village Underground and Melbourne’s Revolver.
She was still performing up until her death and was scheduled to play at London’s Junction 2 at the end of this month.
For more on this topic, check out the Electronic Observer.
Check out some of the tributes to K-Hand following her death:
Mad respect for Kelli Hand. We finally met in London of all places a few years ago. Those Acacia records; she was pioneering! You leave us with an inspirational Detroit music legacy. Thank you. Rest eternal, K-Hand 💜 pic.twitter.com/wmxyn3EtXK
— Mike Servito (@mikeservito) August 4, 2021
Thank you for blazing the trail for women in music. Very sad news😔💜https://t.co/OV9USuEufa
— Nightwave (@iamnightwave) August 4, 2021
Bringing Kelli to San Francisco was one of the reasons Sure Thing was created. When we met we spoke about everything from grad school to keeping one’s integrity in the scene as the years go on, and I realized I could do this for a while. RIP K-HAND, a kind soul and a legend. pic.twitter.com/9bVSI0iTIL
— Aaron J (@surethingrec) August 4, 2021
very sad to hear of K-HAND’s passing. the fact she had a long enough run in house + techno to see recognition for, and reap the benefits of, the work she put in across the ‘90s was a genuinely deserved arc
another Midwest pioneer gone far too soon. RIP Kelli pic.twitter.com/lymuqk7Nyu
— Gabe (@gabrielszatan) August 4, 2021