Rapper DMX dies aged 50
NEW YORK (AP) — DMX, the raspy-voiced hip-hop artist who produced the songs 'Ruff Ryders Anthem' and 'Party Up (Up in Here)' and who rapped with a trademark delivery that was often paired with growls, barks and “What!” as an ad-lib, has died, according to a statement Friday from his family. He was 50.
The Grammy-nominated performer died after suffering “catastrophic cardiac arrest,” according to a statement from the hospital in White Plains, New York, where he died.
He was rushed there from his home April 2.
His family’s statement said DMX, whose birth name was Earl Simmons, died with relatives by his side after several days on life support.
“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart, and we cherish the times we spent with him,” the family said, adding that his music “inspired countless fans across the world, and his iconic legacy will live on forever.”
Memorial plans were not yet set.
DMX built a multiplatinum career as one of rap’s stars in the 1990s and early 2000s, but he also struggled with drug addiction and legal problems that repeatedly put him behind bars.
He released seven albums, earned three Grammy nominations and was named favorite rap/hip-hop artist at the 2000 American Music Awards.
DMX arrived on the rap scene around the same time as Jay-Z, Ja Rule and others who dominated the charts and emerged as platinum-selling acts.
They were all part of rap crews, too: DMX fronted the Ruff Ryders collective, which helped launch the careers of Grammy winners Eve and Swizz Beatz, and relaunch The Lox, formerly signed to Bad Boy Records.
Along with his musical career, DMX paved his way as an actor.
He starred in the 1998 film “Belly” and appeared in 2000′s “Romeo Must Die” with Jet Li and Aaliyah.
DMX and Aaliyah teamed up for “Come Back in One Piece” on the film’s soundtrack.
But while DMX made his mark as one of hip-hop’s most recognisable names for his rap artistry and as an actor, the rapper was personally stifled by his legal battles — he was repeatedly arrested and jailed within a decade — and drug addiction.
His addiction first took hold at age 14 when smoked a marijuana cigarette that was laced with cocaine.
Besides his legal troubles, DMX took the initiative to help the less fortunate.
He gave a group of Philadelphia men advice during a surprise appearance at a homeless support group meeting in 2017, and helped a Maine family with its back-to-school purchases a couple years later.
Last year, DMX faced off against Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle, which drew more than 500,000 viewers.
Survivors include his 15 children and his mother.
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