DMX, real name Earl Simmons, has passed away at the age of 50. The rapper and actor is known for his music with hits such as "Ruff Ryders' Anthem," "Party Up (Up In Here)," and "What's My Name?" He also appeared in cult classics like Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, and Cradle 2 the Grave. The actor was a fixture in rap music with the Ruff Ryders crew during the late '90s to the 2000s, and was one of the marquee names for Def Jam Recordings alongside Jay-Z and Ludacris. DMX was also a playable character in the popular video games Def Jam Vendetta and the sequel Def Jam: Fight for NY.
DMX's family has issued a statement to People, which you can read below:
"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," the statement reads. "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. 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. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized."
"White Plains Hospital extends its deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Simmons, as well as his friends and legions of fans who expressed their unwavering support during this difficult time," the statement continues. "Earl Simmons passed away peacefully with family present after suffering a catastrophic cardiac arrest."
Simmons has been hospitalized for the last week after experiencing a reported overdose which left him comatose. A report from TMZ indicated he had not regained brain function in the days since he was admitted. The outlet also indicates that tests were recently conducted to measure brain activity since his hospitalization, and those results weren't promising.
DMX was widely regarded for his music, being one of the most popular rap artist in the late '90s. That popularity extended to crossover appeal with his movies and video game appearances. Albums like It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood, ...And Then There Was X have all topped the charts and produced successful singles.
After co-starring with Nas and Method Man in the fan-favorite film Belly, Simmons went on to co-star with Jet-Li and Aaliyah in the action film Romeo Must Die. He also appeared in popular TV shows such as South Park, Chappelle's Show, and MadTV.