NEW YORK (
NewsNation Now) — Chart-topping artist DMX, known for his guff delivery, trademark ab-lids and raspy-voice has died, according to a statement from his family. He was 50.
The Grammy-nominated rapper’s songs included “Party Up (Up in Here)” and “X Gon’ Give It To Ya.” His career had been marked by legal troubles and prison time.
performer died after suffering “catastrophic cardiac arrest,” according to a statement from the hospital in White Plains, New York, where he died. He was rushed there from his home April 2.
Growing up in Yonkers, New York, DMX took his moniker from the name of a drum machine used in rap songs. When he was 14, an older rapper who had been a mentor tricked him into smoking crack, DMX said in a documentary series broadcast on BET.
“He created a monster,” he said. “Cocaine almost took my life on a few occasions.”
He made a splash in 1998 with his first studio album, “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot,” which debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The multiplatinum-selling album was anchored by several hits including “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” “Get At Me Dog,” “Stop Being Greedy” and “How It’s Goin’ Down.”
DMX followed up with four straight chart-topping albums including “… And Then There Was X,” “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood,” “The Great Depression” and “Grand Champ.” He released seven albums, earned three Grammy nominations and was named favorite rap/hip-hop artist at the 2000 American Music Awards.
His album “…And Then There Was X” was his biggest seller, certified five-time multiplatinum. DMX released eight albums and was nominated for three Grammys.
DMX fronted the Ruff Ryders collective, which helped launch the careers of Grammy winners Eve and Swizz Beatz.
Along with his musical career, DMX paved his way as an actor. DMX earned more than 40 film and television credits, including “Belly,” “Romeo Must Die,” and action films “Cradle 2 the Grave” and “Exit Wounds,” also contributing music to their soundtracks.
Here’s a look at DMX’s career through pictures:
INGLEWOOD, CA – OCTOBER 04: DMX performs onstage during the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour at The Forum on October 4, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Live Nation) LAS VEGAS – DECEMBER 2: (U.S. TABLOIDS OUT) Musician DMX performs on stage during the “1st Annual Video Game Awards” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena December 2, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show premieres on Spike T.V. Thursday, December 4 at 9:00PM ET/PT. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images) 377433 01: DMX accepts the award for Favorite Rap/Hip Hop artist during a live broadcast of the 27th Annual American Music Awards show January 17, 2000 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chris Martinez/OnlineUSA) 393469 09: (L to R) DMX, Keith Murray, Method Man and Red Man arrive arrive at the Source Hip-Hop Awards August 20, 2001 in Miami Beach, FL. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 22: Rapper DMX performs for “MTV2’s 2$Bill Concert Series” at the Jackie Gleason Theatre September 22, 2003 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images) DMX performs at The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards 2001 at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach, Florida. 8/20/01 Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect DMX, Steven Seagal and Isaiah Washington at the premiere of ‘Exit Wounds’ at the Village Theater in Los Angeles, Ca. 3/13/01.Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images. MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 22: Rapper DMX performs for “MTV2’s 2$Bill Concert Series” at the Jackie Gleason Theatre September 22, 2003 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images) 3/04/00. Los Angeles, CA. DMX posing for photos backstage at The 14th Ann. Soul Train Music Awards. Photo by Brenda Chase Online USA Inc. INDIO, CA – APRIL 17: DMX (L) performs onstage with DJ Snake during day 1 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival (Weekend 2) at The Empire Polo Club on April 17, 2015 in Indio, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Coachella) NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 23: Rapper DMX performs onstage at the 2009 VH1 Hip Hop Honors at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on September 23, 2009 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images) 386534 07: Rapper DMX with his wife and children attend the premiere of Exit Wounds March 9, 2001 in New York City. DMX whose real name is Earl Simmons was released from a New York prison where he served a short sentence for driving without a license.The premiere took place at the Ziefeld theatre in New York City. (Photo by George De Sota/Newsmakers) NEW YORK – JUNE 25: Rapper and actor DMX in good spirits as he is released from Queens Precinct 112 on June 25, 2004 in New York City. DMX – whose real name is Earl Simmons – was arrested along with another man, Jackie Hudgins, on charges of attempted robbery, criminal impersonation and criminal mischief. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images) NEW YORK – MARCH 24: (U.S. TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Actor/rapper DMX, his son Xavier (right), godson Jevon (left) and producer/wife Tashera Simmons attend the New York Premiere of “Never Die Alone” on March 24, 2004 at the Clearview Chelsea West Cinemas, in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images) DMX performs at The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards 2001 at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach, Florida. 8/20/01 Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 16: Rapper DMX poses for a photo before his appearance on TRL in the MTV Times Square Studios September 16, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images) NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 24: (U.S. TABS & HOLLYWOOD REPORER OUT) Rapper/actor DMX poses with his family and producer Joel Silver (R) at the Warner Brothers premiere of “Cradle 2 the Grave” at the Ziegfeld Theater on February 24, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images) NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 23: Rapper DMX performs onstage at the 2009 VH1 Hip Hop Honors at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on September 23, 2009 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images) MIAMI BEACH, FL – DECEMBER 05: DMX (L) and Swizz Beatz perform on stage at The Dean Collection X BACARDI Untameable House Party – Day 3 on December 5, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Bacardi) ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 01: Swizz Beatz and DMX perform at the BET Hip Hop Awards 2011 at Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on October 1, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 13: Rapper DMX speaks during the 2012 Rock the Bells Festival press conference and Fan Appreciation Party on at Santos Party House on June 13, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) Hip-hop recording artist Earl Simmons, aka DMX leaves the U.S. District Court after being arraigned, July 14, 2017, in New York City.
Simmons is accused engaging in a multi-year scheme to conceal millions of dollars of income from the IRS and to avoid paying $1.7 million of tax liabilities / AFP PHOTO / DOMINICK REUTER (Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP via Getty Images) E367235 DMX stars as Silk in “Romeo Must Die.” Photo credit: Kharen Hill 2000 Warner Bros. Producer Joel Silver and DMX at the premiere of ‘Exit Wounds’ at the Village Theater in Los Angeles, Ca. 3/13/01. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images. WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 22: Puff Daddy (L) and DMX perform during the Puff Daddy and Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour at Verizon Center on September 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for Live Nation) PARK CITY, UT – JANUARY 19: Rapper DMX and actor David Arquette walk on Main Street during the 2004 Sundance Film Festival January 19, 2004 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) LAS VEGAS – AUGUST 20: Rapper DMX (L) and boxing legend Tommy Hearns pose at the International Pool Tour World 8-Ball Championship at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino August 20, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The contest was the first-ever championship match between the best male and female pool players in the world and featured Mike Sigel vs. Loree Jon Jones. Sigel won the match to claim the top prize of $150,000 and Jones earned $75,000 as the runner-up – the biggest single payday in the history of the sport. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) INDIO, CA – APRIL 17: DMX performs onstage with DJ Snake during day 1 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival (Weekend 2) at The Empire Polo Club on April 17, 2015 in Indio, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Coachella) MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 22: Rapper DMX performs for “MTV2’s 2$Bill Concert Series” at the Jackie Gleason Theatre September 22, 2003 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.