Earl Simmons, better known as the legendary rapper DMX, has died at the age of 50 years old less than a week after he was rushed to the hospital for an OD that caused him to have a heart attack.
His family confirmed his passing via the following statement:
“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.”
The extremely sad news comes after TMZ reported yesterday that he hadn’t regained any brain function in the days since he was hospitalized.
Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ, the battery of tests performed on X Wednesday showed no improvement in brain activity since he was rushed to the hospital after suffering the OD late Friday night.
As we reported, he had little brain function after being deprived of oxygen for nearly half an hour.
More via TMZ:
DMX got his start in music back in the ’80s, performing with Ready Ron — while simultaneously serving time behind bars … until he finally dedicated himself to music full-time in the ’90s. He eventually got signed to Columbia Records’ Ruffhouse imprint, and appeared on records with Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Mase and even the rock band Sum 41.
It wasn’t until ’98 that he truly broke out, when he released his Ruff Ryders debut studio album “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” to critical and mainstream acclaim … not to mention he added his new canine persona.
‘IDAHIH’ produced 4 singles, including the well-known “Get At Me Dog,” “How’s It Goin’ Down,” “Stop Being Greedy” … and the track that might perhaps his best known, the “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” which became to be the song everyone played to get hyped.
‘Ruff Ryders” has gone down in history as one of the greatest hip-hop songs ever, and it ended up making it on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
He followed up that success quickly with a 2nd album later the same year — “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood” came out in December of ’98, and ended up hitting #1. At the time, he was the second rapper to release back-to-back albums in the same year … the first being Tupac.
At that point, DMX had cemented himself and his sound … abrasive, rough around the edges, but also catchy and great for parties and getting amped. His third album hit that last point home with his single “Party Up (Up in Here)” … another one of X’s notorious songs that helped him get major play on radio, in clubs and in movies.
Speaking of movies, X himself made his feature film debut in 2000’s “Romeo Must Die,” which starred Jet Li playing a version of Romeo opposite Aaliyah.
He went on to star in a number of memorable flicks after that as the 2000s rolled on — “Exit Wounds” and “Cradle 2 the Grave” come to mind … so do “Never Die Alone” and “Last Hour.” Safe to say, X was making a name for himself both in and out of music … but of course, he was fighting legal battles in the background at the same time.
Over the years, he got rung up on many charges — weapons, drugs, DUI and later tax evasion. He served time for some of those cases, but always continued his music career.
As he struggled with the law, X continued to crank out hits … including the memorable “X Gon’ Give It to Ya,” “Where the Hood At?” and “Lord Give Me a Sign” as well as “We in Here.”
He really seemed to turn his life around in 2019 after ending a 12-month sentence for tax evasion. DMX had long battled substance abuse and it was at this point that he did his last rehab stint.
Afterward, he was looking better than he had in years and made his return to the stage in December 2019 when he hit Hakkasan in Las Vegas, chatting it up and taking photos with fans before he hit the stage.
In another sign of just how beloved he was by fans and the industry … DMX, of all people, created a new Christmas classic in 2012 when he freestyled his own version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It had all the charm his audience had come to love about the man.
In July 2020, fans worldwide watched as legends DMX and Snoop Dogg faced off in a Verzuz battle with over 500,000 viewers on Instagram Live.
The rappers complemented each other as they spit some of their most iconic tracks, like when DMX hopped on and joined Snoop for ‘Ain’t No Fun.’ Snoop also got down with “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “Gin and Juice” while DMX spit “Where My Dogs At” and his megahit-song “X Gon’ Give It To Ya,” which brought Snoop out of his seat.
The last time our cameras caught him out was in July 2019 … and DMX talked to us about the importance of being safe on movie sets when doing action scenes/stunts.
DMX is survived by his 15 children. The youngest was born in 2016 to his fiancee, Desiree Lindstrom.