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NEW YORK — Multiplatinum rapper DMX has died at the age of 50 a week after being hospitalized following a heart attack, according to a family statement released Friday.

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, had been in “grave condition” in a New York hospital after suffering a heart attack on April 2.

DMX made a splash in rap music in 1998 with his first studio album “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot,” which debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The multiplatinum selling album was anchored by several hits including “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” “Get At Me Dog” and “Stop Being Greedy.”

The rapper had four other chart-topping albums including “…And Then There Was X,” “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood,” “The Great Depression” and “Grand Champ.” He has released seven albums and earned three Grammy nominations.

His last album, “Undisputed,” was released in 2012.

Along with his music career, DMX paved his way as an actor. He starred in the 1998 film “Belly” and appeared in “Romeo Must Die” a couple years later with Jet Li and the late singer Aaliyah. DMX and Aaliyah teamed up for the film’s soundtrack song “Come Back in One Piece

The rapper also starred in “Exit Wounds” with Steven Seagal and “Cradle 2 the Grave” with Li.
Over the years, DMX has battled with substance abuse. The rapper canceled a series of shows to check himself into a rehabilitation facility in 2019. In an Instagram post, his team said he apologized for the canceled shows and thanked his fans for the continued support.

Last year, DMX faced off against Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle, which drew more than 500,000 viewers.

The New York-born rapper has been nominated for multiple Grammy awards, including for the single “Party Up (Up In Here).” His bestselling album, 1999’s “And Then There Was X,” went platinum five times. All told, his albums have gone platinum — sold 1 million units — 14 times and his first five albums all rose to No. 1 on the U.S. charts.

He has also been featured in several movies, including “Romeo Must Die” and “Cradle 2 the Grave.” He starred in his own reality television series, “DMX: Soul of a Man,” on BET in 2006.

In 2017, he pleaded guilty to tax fraud, in what prosecutors called a “multi-year scheme to conceal millions of dollars” from the IRS. He served one year in prison.

Def Jam Recordings released a statement on the passing of DMX

“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. 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.”

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