Legendary rapper and Ruff Ryder alum DMX dies at age 50
From April 9, 2021
DMX has died at age 50 after suffering a heart attack. His family, who was by his side when he passed, confirmed the news in a statement.
The rapper, born Earl Simmons, had been hospitalized in White Plains, New York in “grave condition,” his attorney Murray Richman confirmed to ABC New York affiliate WABC-TV on April 3. He was placed on life support and never recovered.
“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end,” the family said in a statement. “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.”
The family asked for privacy at they “grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX,” adding that information about his memorial service will be announced once details are finalized.
DMX had battled substance abuse and legal troubles over the years and spent multiple stints in rehab. He last completed a stay in rehab in 2019, after serving a 12-month sentence for tax evasion.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in Yonkers, New York, DMX spent the early years of his childhood in and out of juvenile detention centers and group homes. While he maintained a close relationship with his grandmother and other family members, music was his escape from the troubles of his thoughts and his environment.
The Ruff Ryders emcee launched his career in the ‘90s, releasing his debut album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, in 1998 which featured the hit song “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem.” As a Def Jam signee, he was a crucial member of the Ruff Ryders Dynasty, which birthed trailblazing artists such as Swizz Beatz, Eve, The Lox, and more.
A year later in 1999, X released his best-selling album, … And Then There Was X, featuring the hit single “Party Up (Up in Here).” The triple-platinum album received two Grammy nominations for Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Album. X’s third Grammy nomination came from his 2001 single, “Who We Be.”
Other notable singles include “Stop Being Greedy,” “X Gon’ Give It to Ya,” “What’s My Name,” and “What They Really Want” featuring Sisqo.
X released seven albums over the course of his career, including Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, and four others that topped the Billboard 200 Albums chart. He’s also worked with a number of artists including Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, LL Cool J, Method Man, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Faith Evans, and more.
On the acting side, X appeared in numerous films including Belly, Exit Wounds, Romeo Must Die, Cradle 2 the Grave, and Last Hour.
In July 2020, he faced off with Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle, breaking the all-time Apple Music live stream record with over 600,000 concurrent viewers.
A month later, he revealed he was working on a new studio album to follow up the release of 2015’s Redemption Of The Beast under Seven Arts Entertainment. During an episode of N.O.R.E‘s Drink Champs podcast last February, X stated the project would feature current and past generations of artists including Benny The Butcher, Conway the Machine, Usher, Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, U2‘sBono, and a posthumous track with the late Pop Smoke.
DMX is remembered by his 15 children and his fiancé Desiree Lindstrom, the mother of his five-year-old son, Exodus.
By Rachel George
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