His family confirmed his death in a statement on Friday.
The “Party Up (Up in Here)’” hitmaker, whose real name was Earl Simmons, died one week after suffering a heart attack.
“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,” the statement reads.
It continues: “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.”
According to White Plains Hospital where he died, the rapper “passed away peacefully with family present after suffering a catastrophic cardiac arrest.”
TMZ first reported on Friday, April 2 that the New York native was rushed to a hospital in White Plains where he was placed in the critical care unit with “some brain activity.” One unnamed source at the time claimed he was in a “vegetative state.”
The “Party Up (Up in Here)” rapper, who also went by the nickname “X,” was known to have struggled with substance abuse for years. He received rehabilitation for drug and alcohol issues multiple times.
According to reports, his latest stint in rehab came in 2019 after he completed a one-year prison sentence for tax evasion. At the time, Simmons said the rehab stint did not follow a relapse. Instead, he said it was a preventative measure as he feared his temptations would lead to one.
Simmons served 12 months behind bars for tax fraud after admitting he concealed millions of dollars in revenue to dodge $1.7 million in taxes he’d otherwise owe.
He returned to the stage in December 2019 in Las Vegas, Nev. According to TMZ, the rapper shared inspiring words with the crowd, telling them: “When you fall down, get back up, everyone here has been through some s— and you never know what God is willing to do for you until you need him to do something for you.”
Most recently, the rapper performed in July 2020 in a Verzuz battle with Snoop Dogg. It reportedly raked in half a million views.
Born in Mount Vernon, New York on Dec. 18, 1970, Simmons was raised nearby in Yonkers. He suffered a rough upbringing due to a troubling relationship with his mother, who reportedly abused him, once knocking two of his teeth out when he was just six years old.
He also had a lengthy criminal career, having been to jail around 30 times in his life, his earliest arrest occurring at the age of 10 for arson and assault. According to GQ, Simmons unsuccessfully tried to file for bankruptcy in 2016. The case was ultimately dismissed.
Despite a turbulent childhood, Simmons spoke of his love for his mother in a 2019 interview with GQ.
“She was 20 when she had me. Four sisters; I’m the only boy. Maybe she didn’t know what to do with me. I found out I just knew things that she didn’t know when I was only six years old. I would get up at night sometimes to drink water because I was so hungry. And I saw something in her notebook that was open on the kitchen table. And it was wrong, so I erased it. I thought I was helping,” he reflected.
He rose to fame and became a rap sensation beginning in the ‘90s. He released a total of seven studio albums, including “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” (1998), “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood” (1998), “…And Then There Was X” (1999), “The Great Depression” (2001), “Grand Champ” (2003), “Year of the Dog…Again” (2006), and “Undisputed” (2012).
In addition to his success in music, Simmons also appeared in many films, including “Romeo Must Die,” “Belly,” “Exit Wounds,” “Cradle 2 the Grave,” “Never Die Alone,” “Death Toll,” “Boricua’s Bond,” “Last Hour,” and more.
He won two American Music Awards for favorite rap/hip-hop artist and was a three-time Grammy nominee.
The rapper revealed to GQ that the “biggest challenge” of being successful is “staying true to yourself.”
He was also open about his faith. He had 15 children in total and discussed the meaning of his son Exodus’ name a few years back.
“It’s new beginnings. Exodus speaks to beginnings. He was a new beginning,” he explained.
The rapper also had the Exodus 1:7 Bible verse on his neck. In 2019, he confirmed he’d read the whole Bible three times.
The rapper was also fond of performing live. He once referred to being on stage as “beyond a high that any drug could duplicate.”
“Just being onstage, period, and knowing that there’s so much love out there. I pray before I go onstage with everyone in the room. And I end my show with a prayer onstage. And I’d say maybe 65 percent of the time that I get offstage, I’m so emotionally overwhelmed, I just break down. Sometimes it’s leaving the stage, it’s just like, “Get me to my dressing room. I don’t want people to see me like this.” I just take a minute for myself and just, I thank Him, I praise Him. And I’m like, “Thank you, thank you.” I’m like, “Who am I to deserve this?” We all bleed the same blood.”