DMX Has Passed Away at 50

DMX was previously hospitalized after going into cardiac arrest. In the days since, fans and fellow artists had rallied behind the revered artist.

DMX’s family has released a new statement, saying on Friday that the 50-year-old artist has passed away.

See the full statement 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. 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.”

A rep for White Plains Hospital in New York also shared a statement in which the medical staff extended their “deepest condolences” to DMX’s family and fans:

“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. Earl Simmons passed away peacefully with family present after suffering a catastrophic cardiac arrest.”   

The sustaining impact of DMX’s artistry is impossible to overstate. In 2003, X—thanks to the opening week success of Grand Champ—became the then-only artist in the history of the Billboard 200 chart to hit No. 1 with his first five albums.

In an equally amazing feat, DMX’s first two albums—It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood—were released within the same year via Def Jam/Ruff Ryders and were both certified multi-platinum while also garnering widespread critical acclaim and fortifying a legion of fans who passionately followed him through every facet of his career.

“Def Jam Recordings and the extended Def Jam family of artists, executives and employees are deeply and profoundly saddened by the loss of our brother Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons,” Def Jam Recordings said in a statement on Friday. “DMX was 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. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who loved him and were touched by him. DMX was nothing less than a giant. His legend will live on forever.”

In a separate statement to Complex, Lyor Cohen—current Global Head of Music at YouTube and former Def Jam president—remembered DMX as a “sensitive, thoughtful man” who kept him inspired during his time at Def Jam.

“Earl Simmons was a wonderful, caring father, and a sensitive, thoughtful man,” Cohen said via email. “Unfortunately, Dark Man X took over and ran amok, tormented and struggling to find the light…. DMX gave me the inspiration to keep going at Def Jam when rap became soft and silly.”

DMX’s faith, though always a central part of his lyrical story, became an even stronger force in the Yonkers-raised icon’s career in recent years. In 2019, Kanye West invited DMX to lead his Sunday Service group in a prayer featuring passages familiar to fans of the spoken word pieces found on classic X albums.

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In the summer of 2020, DMX and Snoop Dogg went head-to-head for an installment of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s Verzuz, resulting in a hits and camaraderie-filled showdown that’s widely regarded as among the best of the series. And in February of this year, DMX revealed during a return appearance on Drink Champs that the new album he was working on at the time would feature collaborations with everyone from the late Pop Smoke to U2’s Bono.

Rest in power, DMX.

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