Rapper DMX dies at age 50

Rapper DMX, who had been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack, has passed away, his family says. He was 50 years old.

DMX, whose real name was Earl Simmons, collapsed at his home last Friday after having a heart attack following an apparent drug overdose. He had been on life support in the ICU at White Plains Hospital.

The family issued a statement on Friday afternoon stating: "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."

The hospital issued a statement saying: "White Plains Hospital extends its deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Simmons, as well as his friends and legions of fans who expressed their unwavering support during this difficult time. Earl Simmons passed away peacefully with family present after suffering a catastrophic cardiac arrest."

Def Jam Recordings issued a statement saying: "DMX was a brilliant artist and an inspiration to millions around the world. His message of triumph over struggle, his search for the light out of darkness, his pursuit of truth and grace brought us closer to our own humanity. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who loved him and were touched by him. DMX was nothing less than a giant. His legend will live on forever."

Vigils have been held all week for the Party Up (Up in Here) rapper. The crowd chanted "DMX! DMX!" as they crossed their arms in the shape of an X at a Monday vigil. Many fans played DMX's music from their cars and shared thoughts on what his music has meant to them.

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The Westchester native made his rap debut in 1998. He released seven albums, garnered three Grammy nominations, and had acted in several movies.

Over the years, he coped with substance abuse and tried rehabilitation a few times.  He canceled shows in 2019 to go into rehab.

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DMX also had a number of legal issues, including a federal tax evasion case. He served 12 months in prison.

Fans stuck with him through the years. An online face-off last year with fellow rapper Snoop Dogg as part of the Verzuz series brought more than 500,000 viewers.

Before his death, fellow celebrities took to social media to share well wishes for the star. Singer Kelly Rowland shared a video of herself praying for the rapper's recovery.

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With The Associated Press