R.I.P.: Rapper-Actor DMX Passes Away at 50

We are sad to report that rapper-actor Earl “DMX” Simmons has passed away today (April 9) at the age of 50, less than one week after he suffered a heart attack at his New York home. His family has released the official statement, confirmed by XXL:

“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. 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.”

Emerging in the late 1990s, DMX was known for combining menacing vocals with authentic edge and, at times, spiritual sincerity. Starting with 1998’s It’s Dark and Hell is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, X was the first artist in the history of Billboard to have his first four albums debut at #1. He would then go on to branch out into films, with appearances in Belly, Romeo Must Die, and Never Die Alone. Although he would be plagued with addiction and legal trouble, he continued to be respected as a prolific storyteller among his peers and fans around the world.

Rest in Power.