Chicago radio legend Lin Brehmer has died, it has been confirmed.
The beloved broadcaster, who hosted long-running shows on WXRT-FM 93.1, announced on air last summer that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Brehmer subsequently took leave for treatment, before returning to the station for several weeks in November/December 2022.
The DJ passed away this past Sunday (January 22). He was 68 years old. Terri Hemmert, Brehmer’s friend and WXRT colleague, shared the news in a statement to listeners (via Chicago Tribune).
“We must inform them that we all lost our best friend,” he said. “Lin Brehmer fought cancer for as long as she could. He passed away early this morning, peacefully, with his wife. [Sara Farr] and son [Wilson] by his side
“We will support each other in this heartbreaking time. Lin would want that. Don’t take anything for granted.”
Lin Brehmer, Our Best Friend in the Whole World, 1954-2023. https://t.co/f7ejAF6viy pic.twitter.com/X9FXdJRa51
— WXRT Chicago (@93XRT) January 22, 2023
Brehmer was born in Queens, New York in 1954. His radio career began in 1977 when he got his first job as a DJ at WQBK-FM in Albany. It was there that he earned the nickname “The Reverend of Rock and Roll.”
He left the station after seven years and moved to Chicago, Illinois to join WXRT-FM 93.1 as music director. Brehmer became a morning host in 1991 and remained in that slot until he switched to noon in 2020.
Yesterday (January 23) WXRT-FM 93.1 aired a special tribute to Brehmer (via nbc chicago).
The Chicago Cubs have also paid their respects to the influential DJ, as has the city’s 55th mayor, Rahm Emanuel. “Lin Brehmer was the voice of Chicago,” the latter wrote on Twitter.
“Her voice was unique and a perfect way to start the day. An ambassador for the city’s music scene and dear friend, I announced the Uptown music district concept on your show. I will miss hearing his voice on XRT. May the memory of him be a blessing.”
See those posts and more tributes below.
The Cubs mourn the passing of legendary Chicago radio personality and Cubs supporter Lin Brehmer.
We send our condolences to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/2SiHRmacxY
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) January 22, 2023
Lin Brehmer was the voice of Chicago. Her voice was unique and a perfect way to start the day. An ambassador for the city’s music scene and dear friend, I announced the concept of the Uptown music district on her show.
I will miss hearing his voice on XRT. May his memory be a blessing.
—Rahm Emanuel (@RahmEmanuel) January 22, 2023
RIP to Chicago legend Lin Brehmer, who sadly just passed away – he was the voice of WXRT, the best music station in Chicago, the kindest man I’ve ever met, a lifelong pup fan, and one one of the coolest, warmest guys you could ever meet.
It was truly the best in Chicago.
—John Cusack (@johncusack) January 23, 2023
Wilcoworld Radio continues through Tuesday, January 24 in honor of Wilco’s dear friend and local DJ, Lin Brehmer. Chicago airwaves will never be the same. 💔
Listen at https://t.co/fCTwKatIc4 pic.twitter.com/IH6hfxQKFV
—WILCO (@Wilco) January 23, 2023
—Neal Francis (@thenealfrancis) January 22, 2023
Hello Lin, this is Lin. I’m not here anymore, but I signed up when I heard about your passing. Our chats were always one of the bright spots. Thankful for you. I hope you feel how much you are loved and missed by your city and your fans, wherever you are. ❤️❤️❤️ – LMM @LinBrehmer https://t.co/wnKeIR2uCT
—Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) January 23, 2023
Lin Brehmer was everyone’s best friend.
We love you Lin.
Listen: https://t.co/xQln0rPj2g pic.twitter.com/BLt3ECMYuc
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) January 23, 2023
Lin, what a beautiful soul. Pure walking magic, an encyclopedia of music and everyone’s friend. Thank you, you will be greatly missed. Our condolences to everyone who knew Lin and to the entire city of Chicago. 💙 @93XRT @LinBrehmer https://t.co/TDbKAZXFmf
— The Record Company (@therecordcomp) January 22, 2023
—Patrick Ryan (@the_patrickryan) January 22, 2023
A note from Steve:
The first time I played in Chicago after “Guitar Town” came out was at a WXRT dollar concert at Park West and Lin Brehmer brought me on stage. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/PgSnBmP4AP
—Steve Earle (@SteveEarle) January 24, 2023
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we mourn the passing of our friend and 6th Lobo @LinBrehmer. We had no best friend or greatest supporter on earth. His smile when he got up and played maracas with us at his birthday party might have enlightened Wrigley. rest in peace our brother @93xrt
— Los Lobos (@LosLobosBand) January 22, 2023
— The Riviera Theater (@TheRivChicago) January 23, 2023
— The Vic Theater (@TheVicChicago) January 23, 2023