Legendary Ruff Ryder Rapper DMX Dead at 50
Longtime New York rapper DMX has died. Born Earl Simmons, the rapper died five days after suffering a heart attack that put the legendary Ruff Ryder member on life support. Simmons died Friday, April 9, at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York. He was 50 years old.
With musicians slowly returning to touring after more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions, DMX had several shows scheduled in Texas in late May. In pre-COVID 2019, his addiction to cocaine led him to cancel several scheduled concert dates as he checked himself into rehab in an effort to control his drug habit.
The family released this 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.”
Known for his gruff straightforward hardcore delivery, DMX produced several commercially successful songs, including his best-selling third studio album released in 1999, And The There Was X, which achieve five times platinum status, and it was nominated for two Grammys that featured his biggest hit Party Up (Up in Here).
Growing up in New York, Simmons experienced a violent upbringing that paved the way in both his personal and professional life. Without a stable upbringing, DMX grew up in a series of boys’ homes and often found himself committing crimes during his formative teenage years, leading him into frequent encounters with the law. While in the boys’ home facilities is where he discovered an interest in music. eventually adopting his stage name DMX, short for Dark Man X. Unfortunately, this continued throughout his adult life, leading to several well-publicized feuds with other notable artists including Ja Rule. His legal, financial, and drug addition troubles continued as he was arrested several times on charges that included drug possession, animal cruelty, theft, robbery, speeding and weapons charges. His legal troubles combined with substance abuse played a major role in the decline of both his physical and mental health. Simmons was also the father of 15 children, contributing to his financial struggles, leading him to declare bankruptcy in 2013. On April 2, DMX was rushed to the hospital after suffering “catastrophic cardiac arrest,” that was reported as coming from a drug overdose. He remained on life-support at White Plains Hospital undergoing tests that revealed he had brain damage and was unresponsive.