Chubby Checker is the stage name of Ernest Evans (born October 3, 1941), an American Rock and Roll singer-songwriter best known for popularizing the dance The Twist with his 1960 song "The Twist".
He was born in Spring Gulley, South Carolina, and raised in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and attended south Philadelphia High School with Frankie Avalon and Fabian. Popular lore has it that the wife of American Bandstand's host Dick Clark suggested the name "Chubby Checker" to Evans as a take-off on then-popular singer Fats Domino. In fact, the wife of Bandstand's original producer, Tony Mammarella, suggested the name to Checker. In 1964, he married the Dutch Catharina Lodders, who was Miss Universe in 1962. He "performed" "The Twist" at the 2008 Daytona 500.
"The Twist" (which had previously peaked at #16 on the Billboard rhythm and blues chart in 1959 as recorded by its author, Hank Ballard) was so popular that his public often did not allow him to sing any other style of music. He did popularize many dance songs. Checker later lamented:
...in a way, "The Twist" really ruined my life. I was on my way to becoming a big nightclub performer, and "The Twist" just wiped it out. It got so out of proportion. No one ever believes I have talent.