Rap legend DMX dies at age 50

The entertainment world is in mourning this weekend amid news that legendary 1990s rapper DMX – also known by his legal name, Earl Simmons – died at the age of 50, as TMZ reported.

Simmons’ family revealed the tragic outcome in a statement that read, according to Fox News, “We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name 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.”

According to media reports, the longtime hitmaker had been rushed to a White Plains, New York hospital back on April 2 and was immediately placed into critical care following an apparent drug overdose which led to cardiac arrest and subsequent oxygen deprivation to the brain.

Earlier in the week, reporting indicated that Simmons remained on life support and was in a coma, and that he would undergo a series of brain function tests on Wednesday, though they ultimately revealed little change from when he first arrived at the hospital.

With a distinctively gruff and gritty delivery, the artist popularly known as DMX saw numerous industry successes, including multiple number one hits, the release of seven studio albums, and appearances in several feature films, as Variety noted.

His career trajectory, however, was marred by ongoing battles with substance abuse as well as legal difficulties ranging from drug offenses, resisting arrest, animal cruelty, child support delinquency, and charges of tax evasion which sent him to prison for a year, as Fox News reported.

Despite enduring many trials and tribulations throughout his life, Simmons’ family – which includes his 15 children – remembered him as “a warrior who fought till the very end,” someone who “loved his family with all his heart,” and an artist whose music “inspired countless fans across the world.” According to Fox News, the rapper was also very outspoken about his religious faith, explaining that he had read the entire text of the Bible three times and that he named one of his sons Exodus in acknowledgment of the fact that “Exodus speaks to new beginnings. [My son] was a new beginning.”

Earlier in the week, Simmons’ longtime lawyer Murray Richman echoed the outpouring of love and admiration for his client, saying, “He’s like my son. He’s just a tremendous person, tremendous entertainer, tremendous human being. And so much to offer, so much to say. Not the run-of-the-mill rapper. A person of great depth,” as ABC news noted.

Asking for privacy as they “grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX,” Simmons’ family assured the rapper’s saddened fans that information about a future memorial service will be shared with the public once arrangements are finalized.