Rapper DMX, the Grammy nominated rapper best known for singles “Party Up (Up in Here)” and “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” has passed away. He was 50.
The rapper, whose real name was Earl Simmons, died Friday, one week after suffering a heart attack, reported Rolling Stone. He was rushed to a hospital in White Plains, N.Y. on Friday, April 2 with “some brain activity,” and was placed in the critical care unit. He failed to recover.
“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,” his family said in a statement. “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. 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.”
An initial TMZ report claimed the rapper’s heart attack was triggered by an overdose, but his reps have not confirmed those details.
DMX had a long and public history with drug abuse throughout the years. He had multiple run-ins with the law, including multiple arrests for violations such as drug possession, animal cruelty and violating probation, among others. He previously entered rehab in 2002, but was again arrested in 2004 for cocaine possession and criminal possession of a weapon.
In 2019, following his release from a West Virginia prison for federal tax evasion, the rapper cancelled a series of live performances to check himself into rehab for substance abuse.
The rapper’s career spawned decades, and included 15 Billboard Hot 100 hits. Since bursting onto the scene in 1991, he released eight studio albums and 46 singles. He was nominated for three Grammy Awards between 2001-2002 for his tracks “Who We Be” and “Party Up (Up in Here),” in addition to a Best Rap Album nod for 2001’s …And Then There Was X. In addition, he won two consecutive American Music Awards starting in 2000 for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist.
On the TV side of things, DMX held cameos and guest-starring spots as himself in shows like Moesha, MadTV, Half & Half, Chappelle’s Show, Fresh Off the Boat and Black Ink Crew.
UPDATE: Cable network BET plans to honor DMX on Friday night with a special block of programming. The docuseries Ruff Ryders Chronicles will re-air from 6 pm to 11 pm ET, immediately followed by Inside the Label‘s episode about Ruff Ryders Entertainment.
“We are truly sorry to hear of the loss of rap legend DMX. We join the millions of fans worldwide in sending our deepest condolences to his loved ones and the hip-hop community. He will be missed,” said Connie Orlando, executive vice president of BET’s music programming. “DMX is part of the BET family, from countless appearances on our Hip Hop Awards including the cyphers, to starring in his self-titled docuseries DMX: Soul of a Man, and most recently Ruff Ryders Chronicles, a five-part production about the iconic record label. His talents also extended beyond music, TV and film. His work to help the less fortunate including in his hometown of Mount Vernon, New York, speaks to DMX’s benevolent spirit. We will keep his entire family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”