According to a statement from his family, Earl Simmons, better known as rapper DMX, died after being on life support for weeks following a heart attack. He was 50 years old.
DMX, known by his stage name Earl Simmons, passed away today following a week on life support after suffering a heart attack. He was 50 years of age.
- DMX has died at age 50, according to a family statement released Friday.
- A devout Christian, DMX would end his live performances with a prayer.
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He had been in “grave condition” in a New York hospital after suffering a heart attack on April 2.
The statement read, “Earl was a warrior who fought to the very end and his music inspired millions and his legacy will live on forever. We are deeply grateful for all the love and support we have received during this incredibly difficult time.”
DMX had a rasping voice that set him apart from everyone else. His debut album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot reached multi-platinum sales levels.
Then he went on to chart-topping albums that included songs like “Party Up (Up In Here).” His success in music led him to acting roles in movies like Belly, Romeo Must Die, and Cradle to the Grave.
DMX was born in Mount Vernon, NY in 1970. He said on the People Party podcast with Talib Kweli that he suffered from asthma as a child, which kept him awake at night.
A mentor in his 14-year-old years convinced him to smoke crack, he wrote in his 2003 autobiography, E.A.R.L: The Autobiography of DMX. His struggle with drug addiction continued throughout his life.
This album (It’s Dark and Hell is Hot) is a reflection of DMX’s past crimes and acts of violence as well as a tribute to his love of dogs, frequently made reference to dogs and sometimes literally barking ad-libs.
Further in his autobiography, he writes about his teenage years and taking care of stray dogs, which helped him cope with troubled home life.
A year after his debut, DMX started acting in films. In 1998, he was co-starring in the crime thriller Belly with Nas, in which he played a young criminal in the rise. As DMX’s fame increased, so did his addictions.
In his appearance on Iyanla Fix My Life, he said, “I have never had as much trouble with drugs as I do now.” He had also been arrested several times for drug possession, animal cruelty, and tax fraud.
The rapper DMX was a devout Christian and would conclude his live shows with a prayer.
In an interview with GQ in 2019, he talked about feeling so overwhelmed after performances that he’d take a moment to pray. “I worship Him, I praise Him, and I’m like, ‘Thank you, thank you.’ We all bleed the same blood.”