Earl Simmons, the rapper known as DMX has passed away. DMX had been hospitalized since April 2nd from a heart attack that may have stemmed from a drug overdose. He was 50 years old.
DMX had been on life support since April 3rd. The following statement was issued by DMX’s family:
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. 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.
DMX was born in Baltimore, Maryland but grew up in Yonkers, New York. He grew up in an abusive household and spent time in juvenile detention boys’ homes. While at one of those boys’ homes he met up with producer Ready Ron who was impressed with DMX’s beatbox skills and gave him his musical breaker
Born Earl Simmons in Baltimore, Maryland, DMX spent much of his early life in Yonkers, New York. He experienced a turbulent childhood, growing up in an abusive household and spending time in boys’ homes and, later, juvenile institutions. It was during his time at one of those boys’ homes that he started writing music, and in 1984 he met up with producer Ready Ron. After serving time in prison, he began writing his own lyrics performed at local recreation centers. Following another prison stint in 1988, he began taking rapping more seriously, dedicating almost all of his free time to writing lyrics.
In 1991, The Source magazine praised DMX in his Unsigned Hype column that highlighted unsigned hip-hop artists. He would sign briefly with Columbia Records in 1992. A few years later in 1998 he would sign at Def Jam Records where he would release the single, Get at Me Dog.
This would follow a highly career that would include eight studio albums and 46 singles (17 as a featured artist). By June 2014, it was reported that DMX was the fifth best-selling rap/hip-hop artist in the Nielsen SoundScan era with sales of 23.3 million albums. He has three Grammy nominations and won two American Music Awards.
In addition, DMX had a career as an actor. His films included: Belly (1998), Romeo Must Die (2000), and Never Die Alone (2004), and more recently Beyond the Law (2019)
Throughout his run of success, DMX ran into many legal challenges and arrests including including drug possession, reckless driving, aggravated assault, DUI, and failure to pay child support. In 2018, he was sentenced to a year in jail for tax evasion.
DMX is survived by 15 children.
Photo Credit: DMX Facebook Page