What happened to DMX? Rapper dies aged 50 after suspected heart attack

The hip-hop star passed away one week after being hospitalised after a reported heart attack.

DMX, the hip-hop artist who rapped with a trademark delivery that was often paired with growls, barks and “What!” as an ad lib, has died aged 50.

The Grammy-nominated performer died after suffering “catastrophic cardiac arrest”, according to the hospital in White Plains, New York where he died.

He was rushed there from his home on April 2.

The 50-year-old, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was admitted to a New York hospital “in grave condition” (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Coachella)

His family’s statement said DMX, whose birth name was Earl Simmons, died with relatives by his side after several days on life support.

“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,” the family said, adding that his music “inspired countless fans across the world, and his iconic legacy will live on forever”.

What happened to DMX?

The 50-year-old, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was admitted to a New York hospital “in grave condition” after suffering a heart attack last Friday (2 April).

Speaking to NBC News on 7 April, DMX’s manager Steve Rifkind said: “DMX is currently on life support and in a coma. There are multiple people with inaccurate information about his well-being and it is not helpful and productive.

On Sunday (4 April), DMX’s former manager Nakia Walker told The New York Times and BuzzFeed that the rapper had little to no brain activity or function.

Members of DMX’s family were able to visit him at the hospital on 6 April.

TMZ first reported on Saturday (3 April) that DMX was in “grave condition”, with two sources saying the rapper is in a “vegetative state”, after a reported drug overdose triggered a heart attack.

A crowd of family members and supporters gathered outside White Plains Hospital to show support for the rapper.

Among those at the vigil were his ex-wife Tashera Simmons and fiancee Desiree Lindstrom, who were seen hugging each other at the gathering. Fans chanted "DMX! DMX!" and the crowd was played a recording of the rapper during the event.

Who was DMX?

DMX was a rapper and actor from New York.

He achieved both critical and commercial success in the 1990s with his debut album ‘It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot’, and his best-selling album ‘...And Then There Was X’.

His seven albums earned him three Grammy nominations in a career that has spanned over 20 years.

Along with his music career, DMX worked as an actor. He starred in the 1998 film “Belly” and appeared in “Romeo Must Die” in 2000 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.

DMX has served jail sentences in the past on charges including animal cruelty, reckless driving, drug possession and weapons possession.

In 2018 the rapper made headlines by playing one of his own songs to a judge in court when he faced charges of tax fraud. After listening to the song, the judge said DMX was a “good man” and gave him one year in prison.

In 2019 he cancelled a series of shows to check himself into rehab for substance abuse after serving the year-long jail sentence.

In an Instagram post, his team said he apologised for the cancellations and thanked his fans for their continued support.

He is survived by his 15 children and mother.