Janet Jackson and The Weeknd remember influential US rapper DMX

Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter
·3-min read

Famous faces from the worlds of music, film and sport have paid tribute to influential US rapper DMX following his death aged 50.

The Grammy-nominated performer, whose real name was Earl Simmons, died after suffering cardiac arrest and spending several days on life support in White Plains, New York.

Stars including The Weeknd, Missy Elliott, Halle Berry, Janet Jackson and LeBron James were among those who recalled how his distinctive, raspy voice and 1998 debut album, It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, affected their lives.

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Hip hop star Elliott wrote on Twitter: “Even though you had battles you TOUCHED so many through your MUSIC and when you would PRAY so many people FELT THAT! This is heavy for the HipHop family but your LEGACY LIVES ON & your SPIRIT. Continued Prayers for X family & friends for STRENGTH/HEALING.”

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Oscar-winning actress Berry tweeted: “DMX. His gift meant so much to so many. Sending love to his family.”

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Basketball star James shared a black and white photo on Twitter of DMX holding two dogs on leashes and wrote: “4L!! Rest In Paradise LEGEND!!”

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Pop superstar Jackson simply shared a picture of DMX and wrote: “Rest in Power.”

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British rapper Professor Green, real name Stephen Manderson, recalled buying DMX’s debut album as a teenager.

He wrote on Instagram: “I bought It’s Dark and Hell is Hot on my first trip to America when I was 14. I still know them first two albums word for word. RIP DMX.”

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The Def Jam record label, which signed DMX as a fledgling artist, shared a lengthy tribute in which it described him as a “brilliant artist and an inspiration to millions around the world”.

The statement added: “His message of triumph over struggle, his search for the light out of darkness, his pursuit of truth and grace brought us closer to our own humanity.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who loved him and were touched by him. DMX was nothing less than a giant. His legend will live on forever.”

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R&B superstar The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, simply shared a photo of DMX and a broken heart emoji on Instagram.

Rappers Vince Staples, AJ Tracey, Slowthai, Ice T, Nas and Ghostpoet, drummer Questlove, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Nigerian singer Burna Boy and Idris Elba also shared tributes online.

DMX’s death was confirmed by his family in a statement on Friday.

They said: “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,” adding that his music “inspired countless fans across the world, and his iconic legacy will live on forever”.

DMX forged a successful career in the US rap world in the 1990s and early 2000s, but also struggled with drug addiction and spent time in prison.