DMX Dead at 50 Following Hospitalization for Heart Attack

DMX died on April 9 following his hospitalization for a heart attack. The rapper, the first in history to have his first five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, was 50.

By Corinne Heller Apr 09, 2021 4:19 PMTags
Watch: DMX Dead at 50: His Life & Legacy

The world is mourning the devastating loss DMX.

The Grammy-nominated rapper, born Earl Simmons, passed away on April 9 at the age of 50. "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," his family confirmed in a statement. "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."

On April 2, he suffered a heart attack at home and was rushed to a medical center in White Plains, New York, where he was soon put on life support. The following day, TMZ reported that the rapper, who was open about his history of substance addiction, suffered a drug overdose, which triggered the heart attack. His reps have not confirmed this.

DMX rose to fame in the '90s, with his 1998 debut album It's Dark and Hell is Hot selling more than 5 million copies. Over the next decade, he would conquer the rap charts with singles such as "Party Up (Up in Here)," "We Right Here," "Who We Be," "X Gon' Give It to Ya" and "Where's the Hood At?"

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In 2003, DMX—who is survived by his 15 children and fiancée Desiree Lindstrom—became the first artist in history to have his first five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. He was nominated for three Grammys over the course of his career.

DMX was candid about his battle with drug addiction throughout his life. He underwent treatment for in rehab in 2017 and 2019. Months before the latter, he completed a one-year prison sentence for tax evasion.


Last November, he talked about his history of addiction to crack cocaine on the show People's Party with Talib Kweli, recalling how at age 14, his mentor gave him a crack-laced blunt without telling him what he smoked. "Why would you do that to a child? He was like 30," DMX said in the interview, getting emotional, "and he knew I looked up to him. Why would you do that to someone who looks up to you? I wouldn't do that to my worst enemy."

In 2016, DMX was rushed to the hospital after being found unconscious and without a pulse in the parking lot of a Ramada Inn in Yonkers, New York. "My heart stopped for four minutes and I have asthma. I've had it my whole life," he said on Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club. "This is no joke. You can die from asthma."

He called the incident "an out of body experience" and said he recalled watching from above as first responders used a defibrillator to get his heart pumping again: "I saw my legs, but I knew it was me," he recalled. "How? I don't know. I knew it was me."

Amid news of his recent hospitalization, his celebrity friends took to social media to send their love and support.  "Prayers for DMX and his family," tweeted Missy Elliott. Wrote MC Hammer, "Speak Life !!! Prayers for #DMX." 

While Gabrielle Union asked for healing energy and positive vibes, Chance the Rapper shared of DMX himself reading from the bible: "DMX prayed over me once and I could feel his anointing. I'm praying for his full recovery."

Scroll on to see his extraordinary life in pictures:


in the crime drama Belly


performing in Las Vegas


in the action film Romeo Must Die


performing on stage


starring opposite Gabrielle Union in Cradle 2 Grave


with his family at the Cradle 2 Grave premiere


in the movie Never Die Alone


with ex Tashera Simmons, son Xavier and godson Jevon at the Never Die Alone premiere


with his dog Gotti



performing at the BET Hip Hop Awards



performing in Detroit


on stage during his concert in Poland


performing at the Bad Boy Reunion concert in New York


performing at NYC's Barclays Center


with his children on stage in Fort Lauderdale


performing in NYC