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 a leave of absence to undergo treatment, before returning to the station for several weeks in November/December 2022.
The DJ died passed away last 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 you that we all lost our best friend,” she said. “Lin Brehmer fought cancer as long as he could. He passed early this morning, peacefully, with his wife [Sara Farr] and son [Wilson] by his side.
“We’ll hold each other up through this heart-breaking time. Lin would want that. Take nothing for granted.”
— WXRT Chicago (@93XRT) January 22, 2023
Brehmer was born in Queens, New York in 1954. His career in radio began in 1977 when he got his first DJ job at WQBK-FM in Albany. It was there he earned the nickname “The Reverend of Rock and Roll”.
He departed the station after seven years, relocating to Chicago, Illinois to join WXRT-FM 93.1 as music director. Brehmer became morning host in 1991, and remained in that slot until switching to middays in 2020.
Yesterday (January 23) saw WXRT-FM 93.1 air 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.
“His voice was unique and a perfect way to start the day. An ambassador for the city’s music scene and a dear friend, I announced the Uptown music district concept on his show. I’ll miss hearing his voice on XRT. May his memory be a blessing.”
See those posts and more tributes below.
The Cubs mourn the passing of legendary Chicago radio personality and lifelong Cubs fan 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. His voice was unique and a perfect way to start the day. An ambassador for the city’s music scene and a dear friend, I announced the Uptown music district concept on his show.
I’ll 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 you could ever meet – a lifelong cubs fanatic – and one of coolest warmest guy you could ever meet –
He was truly Chicago’s finest –
— John Cusack (@johncusack) January 23, 2023
Wilcoworld Radio continues through Tuesday, Jan. 24th in honor of Wilco’s dear friend and local DJ, Lin Brehmer. The Chicago airwaves will never be the same.
— WILCO (@Wilco) January 23, 2023
— Neal Francis (@thenealfrancis) January 22, 2023
Hey Lin, Lin here. Not really on here anymore, but signed in when I heard about your passing. Our chats were always one of the bright spots. Grateful for you. Hope you are feeling how much your city and fans love you and will miss you, 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.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) January 23, 2023
Lin, what a beautiful soul. Pure walking magic, an encyclopedia of music, and friend to all. Thank you, you will be so missed. Our condolences to all who knew Lin and the whole 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 put me on stage. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/PgSnBmP4AP
— Steve Earle (@SteveEarle) January 24, 2023
It’s w/ the heaviest of hearts we mourn the passing of our pal & 6th Lobo @LinBrehmer. We had no better friend or bigger supporter on earth. His smile when he got up & played maracas w/ us at his bday party could have lit up Wrigley. Rest in peace our brother @93xrt
— Los Lobos (@LosLobosBand) January 22, 2023
— The Riviera Theatre (@TheRivChicago) January 23, 2023
— The Vic Theatre (@TheVicChicago) January 23, 2023