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

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DMX performs on 28 June 2019 in New York City
DMX performs on 28 June 2019 in New York City

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.

DMX, NY hip-hop icon, dead at 50

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.”

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The liveblog is open

Welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of the death of rapper DMX.

Earl Simmons, 50, better known as DMX, died on Friday after suffering a heart attack from an apparent drug overdose and spending 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,” his family said in the statement.

Graig Graziosi9 April 2021 18:02
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DMX’s storied career

DMX became a fixture in the world of hip hop following his 1998 album It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, an album that went multi-platinum and included “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem,” the song that would launch him to stardom. You can read more about DMX’s music career in Clémence Michallon’s story at The Independent...

Rapper DMX dies aged 50

The rapper, whose real name was Earl Simmons, had been placed on life support

Graig Graziosi9 April 2021 18:14
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Missy Elliot remembers DMX

Hip hop artist Missy Elliot shared a tribute to DMX Friday on Twitter just after news broke of his death.

Graig Graziosi9 April 2021 18:18
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Journalist shares video of DMX spending time encouraging homeless men in Philadelphia

Journalist Sofiya Abena Ballin shared a video in which DMX speaks with a group of homeless men in Philadelphia. She said she would chose to remember DMX as a “warm” and “giving” man.

Graig Graziosi9 April 2021 18:27
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LeBron James, Vince Staples, and Martin Lawrence pay tribute to DMX

NBA superstar LeBron James, comedian Martin Lawrence and rapper Vince Staples all paid tribute to DMX after his death was announced by sharing the same pulpy image of the rap star; a black and white low-angle shot of DMX, in a trench coat, with a pair of pit bulls at his flanks.

Graig Graziosi9 April 2021 18:31
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Fan recalls her “authentic and candid” run-in with DMX on a flight

A woman’s Twitter post went viral after she described having an “authentic and candid” encounter with DMX while on a flight.

Jen Fraser met DMX on a flight to San Diego, and despite not knowing who we has initially, that changed as soon as she started talking to him.

You can read more about Ms Fraser’s encounter with DMX in Rachel Brodsky’s story at The Independent...

Fan’s ‘authentic and candid’ encounter with DMX on flight goes viral

‘He talked about his kids, he has a lot of kids. He worried about them and told me how much he enjoyed being a father’

Graig Graziosi9 April 2021 18:48
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Heartwarming video of DMX assuring his daughter on a rollercoaster

The internet exploded with people’s memories of DMX in the hours after his death was announced. In one video captured from a rollercoaster, DMX can be seen assuring his young daughter that she had nothing to be afraid of on the thrill ride.

Graig Graziosi9 April 2021 19:10
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Moving clip resurfaces

A touching video of DMX explaining how to grow orchids in an episode of the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat has resurfaced in the wake of his death.

On social media, many have resurfaced the scene, which originally appeared in a 2015 episode of the show in which DMX played himself.

At one point, DMX tries to explain the key to romance to Eddie Huang (portrayed by Hudson Yang), by using a floral metaphor.

Read more about the moment here:

Moving clip of DMX growing orchids resurfaces in wake of his death

Rapper played himself in a season two episode of the ABC sitcom

Clemence Michallon9 April 2021 19:13
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An iconic performance

Many are revisiting DMX’s iconic performance at the 1999 Woodstock festival.

The festival attracted around 200,000 attendees, and the crowd in videos of DMX’s set is certainly massive.

At the time of the performance, DMX had already released two studio albums: It's Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood.

He was about to continue a string of chart-topping albums started with Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, with three more released: ... And Then There Was X (unveiled in 1999, months after the festival), The Great Depression (2001), and Grand Champ (2003).

Clemence Michallon9 April 2021 19:26
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The Game pays tribute

Rapper The Game has shared a tribute to DMX on his Instagram page, referring to him as “the first superstar I ever free-styled for”.

He reminisced about the video shoot for Aaliyah’s song “Missing You”. The song was released posthumously following Aaliyah’s death at the age of 22, and included appearances from several artists including DMX, who opens the clip.

“I waited three hours outside your dressing room just to rap for you.... you finally came out and I was nervous as hell,” The Game wrote DMX on Instagram.

You can read his full post below and watch the music video for “Missing You”, featuring DMX.

Clemence Michallon9 April 2021 19:44

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