Rapper-actor DMX, known for gruff delivery, dead at 50

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FILE – In this Sept. 23, 2009, file photo, DMX arrives at the 2009 VH1 Hip Hop Honors at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in New York. DMX’s longtime New York-based lawyer, Murray Richman, said the rapper was on life support Saturday, April 3, 2021 at White Plains Hospital. “He had a heart attack. He’s quite ill,” Richman said. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — DMX, the raspy-voiced hip-hop artist who produced the songs “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Party Up (Up in Here)” and who rapped with a trademark delivery that was often paired with growls, barks and “What!” as an ad-lib, has died, according to a statement from his family.

He was 50.

“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,” the family wrote in a statement released on Friday.

“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,” the statement continued. “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 Grammy-nominated performer died after suffering “catastrophic cardiac arrest,” according to the hospital in White Plains, New York, where he died. He was rushed there from his home April 2.

The rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, had struggled with drug addiction since his teenage years. His lawyer, Murray Richman, had earlier said he could not confirm reports that DMX overdosed.

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