WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Rapper and actor DMX died Friday after suffering a heart attack and being put on life support.
The 50-year-old was surrounded by family in his final days at White Plains Hospital, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.
A statement from the family said DMX, whose birth name is Earl Simmons, died at the 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,” 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.”
PHOTOS: Remembering Rapper DMX Through The Years
Simmons was hospitalized a week ago after suffering a heart attack.
A large crowd of family, friends and fans gathered outside the hospital earlier this week for a prayer vigil.
Simmons made his mark as one of hip-hop’s most recognizable names with his distinctive voice and signature rasp. He released the first of his seven albums in 1998.
Hit after hit landed him on the top of the music charts through the late 90s and early 2000s.
DMX was the first to have his first five albums consecutively debut at number one on Billboard.
A three-time Grammy nominee and a two-time American Music Award-winner, DMX was part of the Ruff Ryders hip-hop collective and starred in movies.
— Def Jam Recordings (@defjam) April 9, 2021
His record label, Def Jam Recordings, called him “a brilliant artist and an inspiration to millions around the world.
“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,” the label said in a statement describing him as “nothing less than a giant.”
New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also reacted to his death on Twitter, saying DMX was “someone who overcame great obstacles and never forgot where he came from.”
Yonkers, along with his visits to the Nepperhan Community Center to give back to needy families. Sending my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.
— Sen. Stewart-Cousins (@AndreaSCousins) April 9, 2021
“Growing up in the School Street housing project and sharing his painful childhood through his music has always kept him connected to… Yonkers, along with his visits to the Nepperhan Community Center to give back to needy families,” she tweeted. “Sending my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Simmons, a native New Yorker, was born in Mount Vernon in 1970 and raised in Yonkers.
In his 2002 biography, he described a troubled upbringing, saying he was physically abused and went in and out of group homes.
Throughout his life, he faced legal battles and struggled with drug addiction, which he was vocal about in his music and interviews.
“I will always have a drug problem,” DMX told Iyanla Vanzant. “Just because you stop getting high, doesn’t mean that you don’t have the problem, because it’s a constant fight every day.”
Music was his outlet from the time he was young. His music was an escape for fans, especially during the pandemic.
In July, DMX took part in a Verzuz battle with Snoop Dog, which spread on social media. It was the last time many got to see him perform.