Popular rapper and actor Earl Simmons, known for his fans under the stage name DMX or Dark Man X, was reported in serious condition Saturday at a New York hospital after he suffered a heart attack caused by an apparent drug overdose, according to celebrity publications TMZ and Billboard.
The papers reported that Simmons, 50, who had a public history of substance abuse, was admitted to a hospital in White Plains, New York, after suffering a heart attack at his home about 11 p.m. on 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 did not independently verify the news reports.
The musician has been open about his struggles with illicit drug use and has spoken about entering rehab in 2019 after serving time in federal prison on a tax fraud conviction. A federal court in Manhattan found that he had failed to pay a total of 1.7 million dollars in taxes from 2000 to 2005 by shifting money into accounts owned by managers and partners.
His 1998 debut album, “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot”, was listed at number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States and sold more than 5 million copies.
In addition to his rap career, Simmons appeared in films such as the 1998 crime drama “Belly,” the 2000 action film “Romeo Must Die” and the 2003 robbery film “Cradle 2 the Grave.”