US rapper DMX dies aged 50

DMX performs onstage with DJ Snake during day 1 of the 2015 Coachella
(Image credit: Mark Davis/Getty Images)

American rapper and actor DMX – real name Earl Simmons – has died at the age of 50 following a heart attack on April 2.

DMX's family confirmed the news via a statement released by their press representative: "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 a pioneering force in 90s hip-hop and gangsta rap, and collaborated with Jay-Z, Ja Rule and LL Cool J during his career. He was also popular within rock and metal circles – he appeared on an alternative version of Limp Bizkit anthem Rollin' and joined Korn and Limp Bizkit on the 1999 Family Values tour, while Marilyn Manson guested on his 1998 album Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood. 

He was the first artist to get his first five albums to number one in the Billboard charts, and enjoyed an acting career which saw him star in films including Cradle 2 The Grave, Romeo Must Die and Exit Wounds.

His label, Def Jam, have also issued a statement addressing the loss: “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."

Briony Edwards

Briony is the Editor in Chief of Louder and is in charge of sorting out who and what you see covered on the site. She started working with Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Prog magazines back in 2015 and has been writing about music and entertainment in many guises since 2009. She is a big fan of cats, Husker Du and pizza.