DMX death: Pharrell Williams and Ava DuVernay lead tributes to hip-hop icon

Graig Graziosi,Clémence Michallon and Rachel Brodsky
·1-min read
DMX performs on 28 June 2019 in New York City (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
DMX performs on 28 June 2019 in New York City (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Rapper DMX died on Friday aged 50 after suffering a heart attack, having spent almost a week in the hospital and several days on life support.

DMX’s family released a statement announcing his death.

“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,” they said.

DMX - which stands for Dark Man X - became the premier artist signed to the Ruffhouse Records label and shot to stardom with his “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem” in 1998.

The rapper sold millions of albums and became one of the most iconic stars of hardcore hip hop.

Early reports of his heart attack claimed he had suffered an overdose. His team and family have not confirmed those reports.

Over the years, DMX spoke openly of his drug use. In 2019 DMX said he planned to attend rehab, cancelling planned shows tour to do so. He said he needed to take the time to find a purpose and focus on his family.

“I just need to have a purpose. And I don’t even know that purpose, because God has given me that purpose since before I was in the womb, so I’m going to fulfill that purpose,” he told GQ that year. “Whether I want to or not, whether I know it or not, because the story has already been written. If you appreciate the good, then you have to accept the bad.”