Popular rapper and actor Earl Simmons, known to his fans by the stage name DMX or Dark Man X, was reported in grave condition Saturday in a New York hospital after suffering a heart attack triggered by an apparent drug overdose, according to the celebrity publications TMZ and Billboard.
The publications reported that Simmons, 50, who has had a public history of substance abuse, was rushed to a White Plains, New York, hospital after suffering a heart attack at his home about 11 p.m. Friday.
His publicist did not immediately respond to Reuters for comment on the singer, who has been a fixture in the music world since the 1990s. Reuters has not independently verified the news accounts.
The New York Daily News reported that officers performed CPR on DMX immediately as the arrived, and gave him Narcan, a substance used as quick-acting antidote for opiod and narcotic drug overdoses.
“This was an excellent job by the officers and they definitely saved the life,” Lt. Patrick McCormack of the Yonkers Police Department told The Daily News. “They found him in a lifeless condition with no breathing. They were able to bring back some breathing.”
The musician has been open about his struggles with illegal drug use and has spoken about entering rehab in 2019 after serving time in federal prison on a tax fraud conviction. A Manhattan federal court found that he failed to pay $1.7 million in taxes from 2000 to 2005, by shifting money among accounts belonging to managers and associates.
His debut album in 1998 “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot,” was listed as number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States.
Along with his rap career, Simmons has starred in such films as the 1998 crime drama “Belly,” the 2000 action movie “Romeo Must Die,” and the 2003 heist film “Cradle 2 the Grave.”
By Rich McKay