Friday, April 9, 2021. New York City – Rapper DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, has died. His family, who was by his side when he passed, confirmed the news.
On Friday, April 2, 2021, DMX was admitted to a New York hospital following a drug overdose.
Amid his success, Earl had a fractious personal life, struggling with drug use that began aged 14. Music became his escape.
DMX visited drug rehabilitation facilities numerous times, most recently in 2019 when he cancelled tour dates.
A reminder that drug addiction is a health problem, not a criminal problem. The war on drugs must end!
The Green Party of the United States says, “End the “war on drugs.” Redirect funds presently budgeted for the “war on drugs” toward expanded research, education, counseling and treatment. Implement a step-by-step program to decriminalize all drugs in the United States.”
The Green Party adds, “Grant amnesty and release from confinement without any further parole or probation, those who have been incarcerated for the use, sale, or cultivation of marijuana in federal and state prisons and in county/city jails, and who otherwise are without convictions for victim oriented crimes, or who do not require treatment for abuse of hard drugs. Provide the option for drug treatment to those leaving confinement.”
“Earl Simmons was born in Mount Vernon, New York on December 18, 1970, the son of 19-year-old Arnett Simmons and 18-year-old Joe Barker, and was raised in nearby Yonkers. He has no middle name and was simply named Earl at birth. Earl was the second child of Arnett, who had given birth to a daughter, Bonita, two years prior, as well as one daughter, Shayla, and two stillborn sons after Earl. Barker did not want Simmons to keep her son and cut off almost all contact with the family as soon as Earl was born.”
“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end,” a statement from his family read. “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.”
The family asked for privacy at they “grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX,” adding that information about his memorial service will be announced once details are finalized.
His label Def Jam Records wrote: “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.”
DMX was nominated for three Grammy awards, including best rap album for 2001’s …And Then There Was X, and guested on tracks by Jay-Z, Aaliyah, LL Cool J and more.
DMX appeared in several films, such as “Belly,” “Exit Wounds,” “Romeo Must Die,” “Cradle 2 the Grave” and “Last Hour.”
Rappers including E-40, Noname and Juicy J were among those also paying tribute, along with Missy Elliott, who wrote: “Even though you had battles you touched so many through your music.” Nigerian music star Burna Boy wrote: “Thank you for being the soundtrack of my childhood.”
Actor Viola Davis wrote: “I pray for the comfort of your children and loved ones,” with Halle Berry writing: “His gift meant so much to so many.”
DMX is survived by his 15 children and fiancee Desiree Lindstrom, the mother of his 15th child, a 4-year-old son named Exodus.
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