Earl “DMX” Simmons, the multi-platinum chart-topper whose signature flow made him one of the iconic artists of the 90s and early 2000s, has passed away. His family confirmed he had been taken off life support after spending his last few days at White Plains Hospital following a drug overdose.
“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end,” the family said in a statement. “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.”
DMX spent his early years suffering from abuse and neglect before ending up in a children’s home. He was public about his lifelong struggle with addiction, which began when a friend tricked him into smoking crack when he was just 14 years old. It was during this season that he also found a lifelong love for stray dogs, which would become a defining hallmark of his music. Albums like It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot reflected on a past of crime and violence, but DMX grew serious about his faith in God and talked about it to anyone who would listen.
He ended his live shows with prayer, telling GQ in 2019 that he spend the first few minutes after every set in quiet time with God. “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?'” DMX loved to pray and did so on camera many times.
Let’s all pray for DMX like, he has always prayed during difficult times.🙏🏾✨ pic.twitter.com/EFYBl0w5G3
— Sophia (@Sophiaphiaaaa) April 3, 2021
I love when DMX prays. He never hide that his mentor got him hooked on drugs at the tender age of 14.
He’s 50 now, still battling that same demon. Still believing in and worshiping God.
— EMMANUEL CHIKA (@emmanueligwekin) April 4, 2021
In addition to his music career, DMX had a storied acting resume, appearing in movies like Belly, Romeo Must Die and Cradle 2 the Grave. He also ended up doing time in jail for drug possession and tax fraud, an experience he believed was divinely ordained. “I came here to meet somebody,” he told reporters in 2009. “Don’t know who it was, but I’ll know when I see him. And I came here to give him a message. And that message is Jesus loves them.”
Way back in the second issue of RELEVANT Magazine in 2003, we reported on DMX’s decision to pull back on his music to focus on a more serious faith life. “I’m going into the church,” he said. “I wanna take some time off — you know, read my Bible and just get more into the Word.”
DMX was 50 years old.