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JUST IN: DMX’s family confirms rapper’s death

By Monsurudeen Olowooopejo

The family of United States (US) rapper, Earl Simmons, professionally known DMX, has confirmed that the artiste passed on at the age of 50, barely seven days after been placed on life support, ending the controversies that had trailed his death.

DMX’s family, in a bid to douse tension that had trailed the singer’s health, said that the rapper, who was known for his brand of rap music globally, died with relatives by his bedside.

The singer, a Grammy-nominated performer, was confirmed to have died on Friday while on admission at the White Plains hospital, where he had been since April 2nd, after suffering catastrophic cardiac arrest at his home in New York (NY).

Announcing the singer’s death, the family, in a statement made available to newsmen, was silent on the burial arrangements for the artiste.

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”.

It added that the deceased music over the years “inspired countless fans across the world, and his iconic legacy will live on forever”.

Before the family’s announcement, millions of fans had disagreed over the artiste’s health status, while some argued that the singer had passed on, others claimed that the rapper was only on life support and could be out soon.

Following the family’s confirmation, condolence messages have taken over the entertainment scene with his record label, Def Jam Recordings, leading the trail, describing the deceased rapper as a brilliant artist and an inspiration to millions around the world.

While adding that DMX would remain nothing less than a giant particularly after death, the firm stressed that his impact would be greatly missed in the entertainment industry globally.

“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 added.

DMX built a multi-platinum career as one of rap’s biggest stars of the late 1990s and early 2000s, but he also struggled with drug addiction and legal problems that repeatedly put him behind bars.

It would be recalled that the deceased made a splash in 1998 with his first studio album, “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot,” which debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The multiplatinum-selling album was anchored by several hits including “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” “Get At Me Dog,” “Stop Being Greedy” and “How It’s Goin’ Down.”

DMX followed up with four straight chart-topping albums including “… And Then There Was X,” “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood,” “The Great Depression” and “Grand Champ.” He released seven albums, earned three Grammy nominations and was named favorite rap/hip-hop artist at the 2000 American Music Awards.

DMX arrived on the rap scene around the same time as Jay-Z, Ja Rule, and others who dominated the charts and emerged as platinum-selling acts. They were all part of rap crews, too: DMX fronted the Ruff Ryders collective, which helped launch the careers of Grammy winners Eve and Swizz Beatz, and relaunch The Lox, formerly signed to Bad Boy Records. Ruff Ryders had success on the charts and on radio with its “Ryde or Die” compilation albums.

Along with his musical career, DMX paved his way as an actor. He starred in the 1998 film “Belly” and appeared in 2000′s “Romeo Must Die” with Jet Li and Aaliyah. DMX and Aaliyah teamed up for “Come Back in One Piece” on the film’s soundtrack.

The rapper would later open Aaliyah’s tribute music video, “Miss You,” alongside her other friends and collaborators, including Missy Elliott, Lil’ Kim, and Queen Latifah, after Aaliyah’s 2001 death in a plane crash at age 22.

As an actor, the rapper starred in 2001′s “Exit Wounds” with renowned actor, Steven Seagal, and 2003′s “Cradle 2 the Grave” with Li.

But while DMX made his mark as one of hip-hop’s most recognizable names for his rap artistry and as an actor, the rapper was personally stifled by his legal battles — he was repeatedly arrested and jailed within a decade — and drug addiction. His addiction first took hold at age 14 when smoked a marijuana cigarette that was laced with cocaine.

DMX pleaded guilty in 2004 after he posed as an undercover federal agent and crashed his SUV through a security gate at New York’s Kennedy Airport. He was arrested in 2008 on drug and animal cruelty charges following an overnight raid on his house in Phoenix. He tried to barricade himself in his bedroom but emerged when a SWAT team entered his home.

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