Chubby Checker facts: Twist singer's age, real name, songs and career explained

21 March 2024, 15:13

Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

In music history, there are few names as synonymous with dancefloor dynamism as Chubby Checker.

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Chubby Checker's journey from humble beginnings to international fame is a testament to his unparalleled talent and tenacity.

Best known for his iconic hit 'The Twist' and its follow-up 'Let's Twist Again', Checker not only revolutionized dance culture but also left an unforgettable mark on popular music.

  1. How old is Chubby Checker and what is his real name?

    Chubby Checker in 2010
    Chubby Checker in 2010. Picture: Getty

    Chubby Checker, born Ernest Evans, was born on October 3, 1941. As 2024, he is 82 years old.

    He was raised in the projects of South Philadelphia, where he lived with his parents, Raymond and Eartle Evans, and two brothers.

    As a young performer, he entertained customers at various jobs, including Fresh Farm Poultry, where his boss gave him the nickname 'Chubby'.

    Through connections, his boss Henry Colt arranged for Ernest to record a rendition of 'Jingle Bells'. The recording featured Ernest singing in various impersonations.

    The recipient of this holiday greeting? None other than the legendary Dick Clark, who shared it with friends and associates in the music business.

    Dick Clark’s wife, Barbara Clark, played a pivotal role. Inspired by the iconic Fats Domino, she decided that Ernest needed a more memorable stage name.

    She combined the existing nickname 'Chubby' with a nod to Fats Domino, resulting in the full stage name: Chubby Checker

  2. What are his biggest songs?

    Chubby Checker - The Twist (Official Music Video)

    'The Twist': Released in 1960, this iconic track catapulted Chubby Checker to fame. It popularized the Twist dance craze, where people danced apart to the beat. The song was originally written by Hank Ballard. In 2008, 'The Twist' topped Billboard’s list of the most popular singles since its debut in 1958.

    'Let’s Twist Again': Following the success of 'The Twist', Chubby Checker kept the party going with this energetic sequel. Released in 1961, it encouraged fans to twist once more.

    'Limbo Rock': In 1962, Chubby Checker introduced the world to the Limbo dance with this catchy tune. The song was originally an instrumental hit by The Champs, but Checker added lyrics and made it his own.

    Let's Twist Again - Chubby Checker

    'Pony Time': Another dance sensation, 'Pony Time' hit the airwaves in 1961. It showcased the pony dance style and became a chart-topper.

    'Dancin’ Party': From the opening drum groove to Chubby Checker’s infectious chants of 'Yeah Yeah', this song is all about having a good time. It captures the essence of rock and roll.

    'Birdland': Released in 1963, 'Birdland' capitalized on the surf music craze while maintaining Chubby Checker’s dance-oriented approach. It reached the Billboard Mainstream Top 20.

    'Knock Down The Walls': Surprisingly, almost 50 years after “The Twist,” Chubby Checker scored another number one hit in 2007 with the dance version of this single on the US Dance music charts.

  3. Is Chubby Checker married and does he have kids?

    Chubby Checker and Chatharina Lodders on their wedding day
    Chubby Checker and Chatharina Lodders on their wedding day. Picture: Getty

    Chubby Checker has been married to former Miss World Catharina Lodders for an impressive 58 years as of 2024.

    The couple welcomed three children into their family: Bianca, Shan and Ilka.

    Chubby is also the father of women's basketball player Mistie Bass, who was born outside of his marriage.

    Chubby Checker with wife Catharina in 2008
    Chubby Checker with wife Catharina in 2008. Picture: Getty

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