Rapper and actor DMX passed away Friday morning at the age of 50, his family confirmed.
The entertainment world is reeling over the loss of DMX, whose real name was Earl Simmons. He suffered a heart attack in his home in New York last week and was hospitalized at White Plains Hospital on April 2. He had been on life support at the hospital and was pronounced dead Friday with most of his family present.
Simmons’ family issued a statement saying:
“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.”
Born in Mount Vernon, New York, on Dec. 18, 1970, DMX went from what The Source magazine once classified as ‘Unsigned Hype,’ to a multi-platinum recording artist in 1998 with his debut studio album “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot,” followed up seven months later with, “Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of My Blood”.
The rapper capped the ’90s with album after Grammy-nominated album “…And Then There Was X,” and jumpstarted the 21st century with albums “The Great Depression” and “Grand Champ.” His first five albums all peaked at number one on the Billboard charts, making DMX the only artist at the time to do so.
In addition to music, DMX acted in films such as “Belly” in 1998, “Romeo Must Die,” “Exit Wounds,” “Cradle 2 the Grave” and “Top Five.” He also started two clothing lines in 2007 called DMX Authentic and Earl Simmons Signature Collection. The multi-hyphenate also modeled Engineered Garments and Timberland’s collaboration in 2017.
DMX was very transparent about his upbringing, drug addiction and legal battles. He said he became addicted to crack cocaine at the age of 14 after being offered a marijuana cigarette laced in the drug. He turned to rap music during his time at a boys’ home after leaving his own home, and later met rapper Ready Ron, who took DMX in as his partner.
In 2020, he participated in Instagram-native show Verzuz, launched by music producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz (who was part of Ruff Ryders with DMX), with Snoop Dogg, where they performed their hit songs and freestyle rapped to end the show.
DMX had been working on his next album, a follow up to the 2015 album “Redemption of the Beast,” prior to his untimely death.
On Monday, the family requested a prayer during a vigil held outside of the hospital where DMX was staying. Many took to social media to pay their respects, including fellow Ruff Ryders, Swizz Beatz and Eve, rapper Missy Elliott, and his music label Def Jam.
DMX is survived by his fiancé Desiree Lindstrom, his 15 children and his mother Arnet Simmons.