The late rapper DMX was remembered by his ex-wife Tashera Simmons in a moving tribute video she unveiled on Instagram on Saturday.
Though the two became estranged back in 2005, and they had separated by 2010, Simmons said they remained friends up until the rapper’s death on Friday at age 50.
The clip began as a celebration of her 50th birthday, but she included heartwarming images of the rapper enjoying time with her and his children.
Saying goodbye: DMX’s ex-wife Tashera Simmons celebrated her 50th birthday and paid tribute to her ‘best friend’ in a sweet video remember the rapper, who died on Friday at 50
‘Happy, happy birthday to me. April 10, 1971. Wow, what a ride. What a journey,’ Simmons said via narration while sharing some childhood photos of herself.
‘As I close up the last 50 years of my life, I rejoice and I thank God for everything it has taught me. The journey that it took me through. The hurt, the pain, the triumph, the resistance, the resilience, the learning lessons, the relationships, the power.’
She turned the focus toward her recently departed ex-husband DMX.
‘I celebrate my life today grateful to God for the 50 years He has given me. But now I also celebrate my ex-husband, my best friend, my spiritual partner, my mentor. But I also thank God for his life and his peace. And his journey and his life lessons that were passed on and that will live on for generations to come.’
Paying tribute: ‘I celebrate my life today grateful to God for the 50 years He has given me. But now I also celebrate my ex-husband, my best friend, my spiritual partner, my mentor,’ she said in narration
Grateful: ‘But I also thank God for his life and his peace. And his journey and his life lessons that were passed on and that will live on for generations to come.’
Sweet: The hitmaker was pictured in vintage photos with his ex-wife, including some photos of the two looking loved up from their wedding in 1999
The hitmaker was pictured in vintage photos with his ex-wife, including some photos of the two looking loved up from their wedding in 1999.
She beamed next to him in her white lace wedding gown, while another cute photo showed her feeding him a forkful of their wedding cake.
The photos highlight just how important family was to DMX as he held his children and shared loving embraces with them.
Although much of the video was solely devoted to her own life, Simmons found room for photos of the former couple having fun together, including one picture of him showing her how to ride a four wheeler.
The couple shared four children: Xavier, Tacoma, Praise Mary Ella and Sean.
Simmons announced their separation in 2010, and she filed for divorce in 2010.
Fatherhood: The photos highlight just how important family was to DMX as he held his children and shared loving embraces with them
Family: The couple shared four children: Xavier, Tacoma, Praise Mary Ella and Sean. Simmons announced their separation in 2010, and she filed for divorce in 2010
Following the rapper’s death tributes popped up across the country to him and his era-defining music.
The artist Armondo Monoletti devoted a mural at Atlanta Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark to remember DMX.
He spray painted a black and white closeup of the musician, along with his professional moniker in stylized red letters.
The New York–born rapper was remembered in his home town with a marquee on the iconic Apollo Theater marking his life and death.
Remembrance: Following the rapper’s death tributes popped up across the country to him and his era-defining music; pictured April 10 in Atlanta
Tribute: The artist Armondo Monoletti devoted a mural at Atlanta Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark to remember DMX; seen on April 10
Home town: The New York–born rapper was remembered in his home town with a marquee on the iconic Apollo Theater marking his life and death; pictured April 10
The rapper DMX died aged 50 on Friday, a week after his heart attack and reported overdose.
His family confirmed the news in a statement saying: ‘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.’
The news came after it was reported Friday that his vital organs had failed, that he had ‘not regained any brain function’ and that his condition had not improved after a series of tests that were performed on Wednesday at White Plains Hospital, New York.
‘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 statement, shared via People, continued. ‘Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever.’
DMX dead at 50: The rapper – real name Earl Simmons – died aged 50 at White Plains Hospital on Friday after suffering a heart attack and reported overdose last week (pictured in 2017)
‘We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.’
The tests had reportedly left his family with the agonizing decision over whether to keep the 50-year-old entertainer on life support.
White Plains Hospital released an additional statement which read: ‘White Plains Hospital extends its deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Simmons, as well as his friends and legions of fans who expressed their unwavering support during this difficult time. Earl Simmons passed away peacefully with family present after suffering a catastrophic cardiac arrest.’
TMZ reported that the tests had proved there was ‘no improvement in brain activity’ since the rapper was first rushed into hospital last Friday, after he was deprived of any oxygen for nearly half an hour.
The test results had been described as ‘not good’ in the Thursday report. His family requested that longtime friend and former manager Steve Rifkind fly to New York on Friday to be by his side.
A makeshift memorial grew on Friday after news of DMX’s death spread. Mourners paid their respects and placed memorabilia outside the White Plains, New York, hospital where he died
People got emotional, including this man who visited the memorial outside hospital
By nightfall, candles lined the fence to the hospital and people continued to gather
Mourners left notes remembering DMX on the makeshift memorial that sprung up
People, including this young girl, attended the memorial in DMX shirts and other clothing
DMX died at the White Plains Hospital in New York; the news of his death came Friday
TMZ reported Monday that some of DMX’s 15 children had been visiting him in the hospital.
Later that same day, a prayer vigil was held by family, friends and fans outside the hospital where DMX was receiving care in White Plains, New York.
DMX has been holding on to life for several days after allegedly overdosing and subsequently having a heart attack.
‘On Friday night, April 2nd, 2021, our brother, son, father, and colleague DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, was admitted to White Plains (NY) Hospital, facing serious health issues,’ the family said through a publicist before his death.
DMX FAMILY STATEMENT
‘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.
‘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. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.’
An additional statement from the hospital said, ‘White Plains Hospital extends its deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Simmons, as well as his friends and legions of fans who expressed their unwavering support during this difficult time. Earl Simmons passed away peacefully with family present after suffering a catastrophic cardiac arrest.’
The news came after it was reported DMX had ‘not regained any brain function’ and his condition had not improved after a series of tests that were performed Wednesday [File photo]
‘We ask that you please keep Earl/DMX and us in your thoughts, wishes, and prayers as well as respect our privacy as we face these challenges.’
Another statement released on Sunday afternoon said the rapper remained in a coma and was on a ventilator.
Simmons’ longtime lawyer, Murray Richman, said the rapper was admitted to the intensive care unit at White Plains Hospital after going into cardiac arrest.
Richman said he could not confirm reports that DMX had overdosed on drugs and was not sure what had caused the heart attack.
Beloved father: TMZ reported Monday that some of DMX’s 15 children visited him in the hospital [File photo]
A lot of family: DMX, is a father of 15. He is pictured above with Desiree Lindstrom, who gave birth to his youngest child in 2016 [File photo]
Vigil: A prayer vigil was held by family, friends and fans outside the hospital where DMX was receiving care in White Plains, New York, before it was announced that his organs had failed
‘He had a heart attack. He’s quite ill,’ Richman said. ‘I’m very sad about it, extremely sad. He’s like my son.
‘He’s just a tremendous person, tremendous entertainer, tremendous human being. And so much to offer, so much to say. Not the run-of-the-mill rapper. A person of great depth.’
Sources told TMZ that the star overdosed around 11pm on Friday and was rushed to the hospital.
One relative explained that paramedics tried to resuscitate him for 30 minutes when en route to the hospital, during which time he was deprived of oxygen for an extended period.
Doctors said the lack of oxygen severely affected his brain, with one family member saying ‘It’s not looking good.’
‘Last night Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons was rushed to the hospital after collapsing at home. At this time he remains in ICU in critical condition. Earl has been a warrior his entire life. This situation represents yet another road he must conquer,’ a statement by the family read.
Diane Haughton, the mother of the rapper’s former collaborator Aaliyah, wrote a touching message directed at her late daughter’s friend and his loved ones.
The post read, ‘Earl you had and still have a heart of gold. You and Baby Girl will meet again with all the beautiful people we have lost. Will never forget your kindness. NEVER! Blessing to your family! Eternally!’
Sending her condolences: Diane Haughton, the mother of DMX’s former collaborator Aaliyah, wrote a touching message directed at the late performer and his loved ones that she posted to daughter’s Instagram account
Loved one: DMX’s ex-wife Tashera Simmons was seen just outside of her Mt. Kisco home just hours after the hitmaker was pronounced dead on Friday
Happy parents: The rapper welcomed four of his 15 children with his ex-wife. The two separated in 2010 but remained friends
STARS LEAD TRIBUTES TO DMX
Celebrities took to social media on Friday to mourn the loss of the 50-year-old entertainer, who died after suffering a heart attack and reported overdose.
Missy Elliott: ‘Even though you had battles you TOUCHED so many through your MUSIC and when you would PRAY so many people FELT THAT! This is heavy for the HipHop family but your LEGACY LIVES ON & your SPIRIT. Continued Prayers for X family & friends for STRENGTH/HEALING.’
Paying respect: Hip-hop royalty Missy Elliott tweeted her respects on Friday
Viola Davis: ‘RIP DMX. I pray for the comfort of your children and loved ones.’
Ice Cube: ‘Sending warrior prayers to the homie DMX.’
LeBron James: ‘[X] 4L!! Rest In Paradise LEGEND!!’
Halle Berry: ‘Your gift meant so much to so many. Rest in Paradise.’
Gabrielle Union: ‘No words right now. Nothing but fierce love, prayers and protection for X’s family, friends and fans. This loss is devastating.’
Passing: NBA legend LeBron James tweeted his condolences
Mariah Carey: ‘Rest in Power DMX’
Busta Rhymes: ‘I hate this but I’m at peace with it because you are finally at peace King. I love you Eternally X. For infinity lifetimes I will forever love you Big bro. Rest Easy Beloved. Rest.’
Ava DuVernay: ‘One of my favorite performances in one of my favorite films was given by DMX. If you haven’t seen BELLY in a while or at all, gift yourself with his talent in that film this weekend. #RIPDMX’
Prayers: Kelly Rowland posted an emotional tribute on Instagram
Outpouring: Stars took to Twitter on Friday to pay their respects to DMX
Meek Mill: ‘RIP DMX ONE OF MY INSPIRATIONS ESPECIALLY WIT THE BIKES! BRING THEM BIKES OUT!’
Justin Bieber: ‘Rest in paradise my brother. Your gift was so obvious to us all. Thank you for sharing your gift with the world. You will be missed.’
M.I.A: DMX. Saddest news. Sending love and respect to his FAM FANS AND FRIENDS.’
Acting talents: Filmmaker Ava DuVernay urged her followers to watch DMX’s performance in the Hype Williams movie Belly (1998)
Message from Bey: Singer Beyonce shared this image on her website Friday
Chance The Rapper: ‘Rest in Heaven DMX’
Karl-Anthony Towns: ‘RIP TO A LEGEND @DMX’
NFL star Adrian Peterson: ‘A Hip hop icon like no other. RIP.’
Memories: Gabrielle Union posted this heartfelt tribute on Friday
Rapper T.I.: ‘Rest In Peace to a cultural icon. There are no words that can mend the loss the hip-hop community felt today #RIPDMX’
Paris Hilton: ‘RIP DMX’
Akon: ‘#RIPDMX Thank you for the music, you’ll be missed.’
Respect: Rapper Eve paid tribute to her mentor DMX on Friday
Charlie Puth: ‘I do feel like a piece of my childhood was lost today. I remember watching videos of DMX at Woodstock ‘99 and waking up every morning at 6am just so I could catch the music video to Party Up on MTV. There’s a reason why his music still goes OFF today. Timeless. RIP DMX.’
Record exec Dante Ross: ‘Rest Easy DMX. He made cathartic music, he spoke for the downtrodden and lived his life like an open book. The line between art and life were none for him, so it seemed. He was an aggressive musical force, one that virtually single handily ended the shiny suit era. RIP’
NBC12 anchor Anthony Antoine: ‘If you do nothing else today, listen to “Ready to meet him,” from the “Flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood” album.’
Deeply inspired: Ciara shared a throwback photo of her and DMX, along with a caption about how how ‘deeply inspired’ she felt after seeing him perform
Rest easy: Bebe Rexha wrote, ‘May you Rest In Peace,’ atop a photo of herself and the rapper
Touched: Oscar-winning star Viola Davis paid her respects on Instagram
‘The Simmons Family appreciates the overwhelming outpouring of heartfelt love, encouragement, support and prayers for Earl. Earl is someone whose life and music have been a source of inspiration and strength to so many people around the world. It is reassuring to see his fans return that same passion and energy to him during his time of need.’
Kelly Rowland was among an array of celebrities offering prayers for DMX this weekend. ‘Lord God in Heaven, bless our brother DMX,’ said Rowland, 40, in an emotional video on her Insta Stories this Saturday, ‘I ask that you would bless his family.’
DMX first made a splash in rap music in 1998 with his first studio album It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, which debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The multiplatinum selling album was anchored by several hits including Ruff Ryders Anthem, Get At Me Dog and Stop Being Greedy.
The rapper had four other chart-topping albums including …And Then There Was X, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, The Great Depression’ and Grand Champ. He has released seven albums and earned three Grammy nominations.
Towards the late nineties, he was known for being at the forefront of the ‘Ruff Ryders’ era of rap, which was named after a collective of rappers that included soon-to-be superstars in the genre like Eve and Lox.
Tributes: Mourners have been gathering outside the hospital; above a fan is seen paying respects on Friday
At the Friday night New York Knicks game, the Madison Square Garden scoreboard honored DMX
People gathered throughout the day at the memorial that had grown outside the hospital
Seemingly hundred of candles, along with balloons and memorabilia were placed in honor
Along with his music career, DMX paved his way as an actor. He starred in the 1998 film ‘Belly’ and appeared in ‘Romeo Must Die’ a couple years later with Jet Li and the late singer Aaliyah.
DMX and Aaliyah teamed up for the film’s soundtrack song Come Back in One Piece.
Born Earl Simmons in Mount Vernon, New York on December 18, 1970, he was the son of 19 year old Arnett Simmons and 18 year old Joe Barker, and raised in nearby Yonkers.
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 reportedly did not want Simmons to keep her son, and cut off almost all contact with the family as soon as Earl was born.
He was brought up in the Jehovah’s Witness faith. According to one biography, he was hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street and suffered minor injuries as a child. DMX has claimed in a past interview that his family could have received as much as $10,000 in a legal settlement, but his mother refused to open a case as she claimed it went against her faith.
By his own account, DMX suffered a trouble childhood, claiming in interviews that he was beaten by his mother and her various boyfriend. Some beatings were said to be so bad that he lost teeth and sustained many injuries.
Starring role: The rapper appeared alongside late singer Aaliyah (who died in 2001) in the movie Romeo Must Die a year before her death, and also duetted on the his ‘Come Back in One Piece’
He eventually found comfort in looking after stray dogs that he would walk late at night, before he was sent to a boys’ home by his mother – where he discovered his love of hip hop music and began performing for friends.
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.’
However, he studied the Bible and prayed before and after every show, he revealed in an interview with GQ. ‘Performing in front of people is beyond a high. It’s beyond a high that any drug could duplicate,’ he said.
The rapper’s intense songs told stories of a complex character’s ‘sins of the streets,’ according to a biography on allmusic.com, which described DMX as a ‘hip-hop Johnny Cash.’
He began performing as early as the ’80s alongside his mentor Ready Ron, but didn’t breakthrough until the nineties when he was signed to Columbia Records imprint Ruffhouse, and featured on records by stars including LL Cool J and Mase, and also the rock band Sum 41.
Success story: DMX remains the only rapper to have his first five albums debut at No. 1 (pictured above at the 14th annual Soul Train Music Awards in 2000)
Family: DMX is known for mentoring rapper Eve (pictured together above in 2012) and she paid a heartfelt tribute to him on Friday
His debut album was the first of five in a row to top the Billboard 200 chart in the United States. He remains the only rap artist with such a streak.
Rap superstars including Jay-Z, Eminem and even Kanye West have not reached the same milestone as the rapper.
Yet, he was cut short of furthering that record when his 2006 album Year of the Dog… Again, reached the no. 2 spot on the Billboard charts.
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 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.
Before he died, his ex-wife Tashera Simmons, with whom he had four children, attended a vigil outside his hospital, where hundreds of fans danced to DMX songs. ‘The love is real,’ she posted on Instagram.
Legendary: He remains the only rapper to have had his first five albums debut at No. 1, beating rap giants including Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Eminem (pictured above at 1999’s Woodstock)
Glory: The rapper is seen above performing at Kanye West’s Sunday Service at the Mountain at Coachella in 2019
Basketball star LeBron James had tweeted while DMX was in hospital: ‘To one of my fav artist growing up and still to this day DMX, my prayers are with you and sent to the almighty heaven´s above!’
In 2017, DMX pleaded guilty in federal court to avoiding paying $1.7 million in taxes from 2000 to 2005 by shifting money among accounts belonging to managers and associates. He was sentenced to one year in prison.
The rap star’s prior arrest record included charges of animal cruelty, reckless driving, drug possession, weapons charges and probation violations. He served prison time in Arizona and New York.
In the 1998 song Slippin’, DMX rapped: ‘To live is to suffer, But to survive, well, that’s to find meaning in the suffering.’
Tributes from the entertainment world flooded out on Friday, with Missy Elliott tweeting: ‘Even though you had battles you TOUCHED so many through your MUSIC and when you would PRAY so many people FELT THAT!’
Family man: DMX had a total of 15 children, some of whom are pictured above with the rapper in 2003
She added: ‘This is heavy for the HipHop family but your LEGACY LIVES ON & your SPIRIT. Continued Prayers for X family & friends for STRENGTH/HEALING.’
Others stars paying their respect included Oscar-winners Viola Davis and Halle Berry, rap legend Ice Cube, and NBA star LeBron James.
Rapper Eve, who was mentored by DMX, posted a heartfelt tribute to Instagram on Friday saying: ‘I know that you are in the place of peace you deserve. I will be forever grateful to have known you.’
‘You were one of the most special people I have ever met. Full of humour, talent, wisdom and love and most of all loyalty. This world has lost a REAL ONE but the heavens have gained an ANGEL. May you Rest.’
Meanwhile his longtime label Def Jam said in a statement Friday: ‘Def Jam Recordings and the extended Def Jam family of artists, executives and employees are deeply and profoundly saddened by the loss of our brother Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons.
‘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.’
The statement concluded: ‘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.’