Rapper DMX, one of the most successful hip-hop artists to emerge from the ’90s with his iconic gruff delivery, died on April 9 at the age of 50.
“We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50-years-old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days. Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end,” DMX’s family said in an official statement. “He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”
The late New York-bred rapper was the first rapper in history to have his first five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart including It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot and …And Then There Was X. Following his 1998 release of “Get at Me Dog,” via Ruff Ryders, his management’s label through Def Jam, DMX showed no signs of slowing up in his career. His debut album, which solidified his legendary introduction to the hip-hop scene with “Ruff Ryders Anthem,” went on to sell more than 5 million copies. He appeared in movies such as Belly and Romeo Must Die, and received three Grammy nominations including Best Rap Solo Performance for “Party Up (Up in Here)” in 2001.
Just on Wednesday, Simmons’ manager Steven Rifkind took to social media to update fans that the rapper was on life support and was still in a coma. While he was scheduled to undergo brain function tests, representatives have not yet confirmed as to whether or not he suffered a heart attack as a result of an overdose. Fans, family, and friends expressed their condolences for the hip-hop genius across social media in lieu of the devastating news.