DMX Dead at 50: Gabrielle Union, Eve, Missy Elliott and More Honor Late Star — 'You Are 1 of 1'
"This world has lost a REAL ONE but the heavens have gained an ANGEL," the Grammy Award nominee's longtime friend and "Ruff Ryders' Anthem Remix" collaborator Eve wrote
DMX is being honored by many after his death Friday morning.
"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," his family said in a statement to PEOPLE.
The rap star and actor had been hospitalized in the intensive care unit after suffering a heart attack at his home on April 2.
"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 continued. "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."
Several stars have expressed their condolences for the late rap legend since news of his medical emergency broke late last week.
Gabrielle Union, who co-starred with DMX in their 2003 hit film Cradle 2 the Grave along with Jet Li, shared a warm message to the late actor.
She began her Instagram post on Friday writing, "I was praying I wouldn't have to think about how to describe what you meant to me. We bonded over our shared love of dogs, cold beers, Golden Girls reruns, New Edition and adventures."
"From random nights of go-karting in the hills of Sherman Oaks, [California] to bowling to just sitting in your trailer laughing with @anthonyanderson talking '80s soul music," the Bring It On star continued.
Union concluded her tribute writing, "You always made the time to look out for folks.. I am forever grateful for your joy, your laugh, your protection all these years and your hugs anytime I've seen you. You are 1 of 1. Rest in eternal peace my friend. Rest. 🖤🖤🖤🖤"
And DMX's two-time co-star Jet Li paid homage to the late actor-rapper in a tweet he shared on Friday, "Rest In Peace DMX, a true legend. It was truly my honor to work and get to know you. ❤️."
On Monday just days ahead of DMX's death, NBA champion LeBron James shared a heartfelt post about the star.
He wrote on Twitter, "To one of my fav [sic] artist growing up and still to this day DMX, my prayers are with you and sent to the almighty heavens above! 🙏🏽"
Former NBA star and Lakers alum Shaquille O'Neal shared a similar message on Twitter, writing, "We lost another Legend R.I.P DMX."
On Friday, Chance the Rapper shared a video clip of DMX that appears to have been captured in the early aughts, in which the late rapper opened up to a live audience about his "relationship with the industry."
"Often my words fall on deaf ears / Motherf— be listening / But don't hear / Talking to them and they sitting right here / I be like 'Where you going?' / [They] be like, 'Yeah," the audience then laughed, but DMX was not joking.
Chance then tweeted a quote from DMX, writing, "Often my words fall on deaf ears."
On Thursday, Def Jam Records (whom DMX re-signed with on Sept. 20, 2019) shared a statement on Twitter, speaking highly of the American Music Award winner.
"Nothing comes close to the feeling you get when you hear DMX start praying," the statement on Def Jam's official Twitter began. "Every word hits deep. Even if you don't believe, you're inspired and encouraged."
Ahead of his death, the record label urged his longtime music listeners to pray for his recovery, writing, "Send some of the same energy back out for him while he's fighting his way back to us all. https://dmx.lnk.to/ADogsPrayers."
Also days before DMX's death was confirmed, T.I. and his wife Tiny each paid tribute to the late icon in a series of Instagram posts.
The following day, the ATL star, captioned an Instagram photo of DMX, "God is real & Prayer changes things‼️ @dmx WE GON PRAY FOR YOU LIKE YOU'VE BEEN PRAYING FOR US ALL THESE YEARS BIG BRO‼️#PrayersUpForDMX."
Several movie stars also commemorated DMX and his legacy after his death.
On Instagram Friday, Viola Davis shared a black and white photo of DMX in which he was smiling from ear to ear. She captioned her post, "RIP DMX. I pray for the comfort of your children and loved ones. 🙏🏿💛."
Eve who appears on DMX's remix to his smash hit song "Ruff Ryders' Anthem," wrote of her longtime collaborator, "#Mydog 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 [sic], 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 🙏🏾🕊💔😔 #rip#dmx#ruffrydersfamily."
Insecure star Yvonne Orji shared a heartfelt post on Instagram as well. She captioned her post, "DENG. Not the way I wanted Dark Man to go out. If you see me blasting the Ruff Ryder's anthem ALL day, juss [sic] lemme [sic] have it. Hey St. Peter... X is comin' for ya! #LetADogBarkAndHeWillFindHisWayHome #DMX."
In a series of tweets posted on Tuesday, a fan named Jennifer Fraser detailed a heartwarming encounter she had with DMX, whom she sat next to during a flight. After they landed at their destination, the star even invited the woman and her stepdaughter to a personal meet and greet.
Fraser vividly recalled his kindness and humility as the two chatted over racial equality, one of DMX's favorite aspects of performing (which was when fans held their phones up with their flashlights on — much like pre-cell phone years when fans held candles and lighters) and of course, his family life — from his beloved grandma, who had cancer, to his children.
She described the star as "gracious" and continued on, adding that Simmons was a "talented artist, a loving father and a kind soul."
Fellow stars Ice Cube, Tamron Hall, Jussie Smollett and Questlove are also among those to highlight DMX, with posts they shared on social media.
Cube, né O'Shea Jackson, wrote of the late star, "Sending warrior prayers to the homie DMX." Hall simply wrote on Instagram, "Greatness #DMX."
Talk show host Lilly Singh also opened up about DMX and the impact his music had on her life, especially throughout her adolescence as a young woman of color.
On Instagram, Singh shared a quartet of photos of DMX posing alongside his late Romeo Must Die co-star Aaliyah (who died in 2001 at age 22).
She captioned her post, "I'd like to share a few memories that really capture what DMX meant to me today and growing up."
"Throughout elementary school, I wore a Ruff Ryders necklace," she recalled. "Yes, a hairy brown kid who thought she was the baddest in grade 5. You couldn't tell me different."
Speaking of the now-iconic film, released on March 22, 2000, she continued, "I've probably watched Romeo Must Die 50 times because the magic on screen between DMX and Aaliyah was captivating and I wanted to legit be them. Both of them."
"I've lost my voice many a time trying to do the iconic bark. I've continuously failed," Singh joked, before adding, "Thank you for the music and the memories. Your style gave an awkward brown kid the confidence to walk a certain way. Today and always, we celebrate your life and legacy. Rest in power X."
Simmons famously honored the late Aaliyah in the posthumously released music video for her beloved song "Miss You." The pair also teamed up for their fan-favorite duet "Come Back in One Piece," which appears on the Romeo Must Die soundtrack.
On Friday, her mom Diane Haughton wrote a touching tribute to Simmons, which she shared on Instagram. She wrote, "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! — Aaliyah's Mom."
Simmons' longtime collaborator Swizz Beatz, né Kasseem Dean (who produced some of DMX's most iconic hits) shared a series of emotional tributes in the days leading up to X's death.
On Friday, Beatz posted a video that captured several moments the pair shared together. He captioned his post, "I'm truly beyond devastated !!!!!! But I'm so happy my brother is no longer in pain. I watched him take everyone's pain and make it his own 🙏🏽 I send my love and support to his entire family 🙏🏽 My brother we will never let them forget your name and you will live forever F.A.M.E🌹 Long live King DMX THE GREAT AKA my brother 4 Life Earl Simmons 🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊 Damn Dog."
And on Thursday, the producer shared a video of DMX that was taken when the musician won an American Music Award. Beatz wrote, DMX 4 LIFE 🙌🏽 You changed my life King! My brother 4 Life The Big Dog Love you King 🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊."
Swizz Beatz also attended the prayer vigil that was held on Monday, near the White Plains Hospital in New York, where DMX spent his final days. Hundreds of DMX's loved ones and fans attended, including his children.
On Twitter, several stars shared their condolences for Simmons including: Ava DuVernay, Halle Berry, Meek Mill, Chuck D, Tika Sumpter, Ice T, Missy Elliott, Ella Mai, Sheila E., Skai Jackson, LeToya Luckett and SZA — the latter tweeted a sweet message, writing, "God rest this beautiful, powerful, anointed man."
Mill, né Robert Rihmeek Williams, revealed that DMX has been one of his role models in the music industry through the years. He wrote, "RIP DMX ONE OF MY INSPIRATIONS ESPECIALLY WIT [sic] THE BIKES! BRING THEM BIKES OUT!"
And filmmaker DuVernay reminded fans of the lead role the legendary rapper played in the iconic 1998 film, Belly. She tweeted, "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."
Southside with You actress Sumpter (who played former First Lady Michelle Obama in the 2016 movie) tweeted on Friday, "#DMX had every person on the dance floor thinking they too could rap because of 'Party Up.' Rest in paradise king. Thank you for all your gifts."
The outpouring of love, support and admiration for DMX continued through the day.
Missy Elliott tweeted on Friday, "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," Elliott added. "Continued Prayers for X family & friends for STRENGTH/HEALING 🙏🏽."
Iconic percussionist Sheila E. said of DMX, "This is a great loss. You were an amazing artist. You blessed so many people. Prayers to the family. Rest in peace my brother 🙏🏽."
On Instagram Friday, Macklemore, né Benjamin Haggerty, explained the significant influence the late DMX had on his style of music — he even credited Simmons for introducing him "to a way of therapy via the pen." Macklemore explained that X inspired him "through his vulnerability and honesty."
"Like many, DMX was the soundtrack to an era of my life," the rapper wrote on Instagram. "I loved so many DMX records for different reasons/moods but the one that always hit the closest was 'Slippin'.' He vividly painted a picture of depression and isolation, conveying emotion in a way that spoke to the spirit. It wasn't until later in life that I learned DMX and myself shared a common bond, the disease of addiction."
"He inspired me to tell my truth, be a storyteller and share wherever I was at," Macklemore revealed. "There was no facade in what DMX brought to music. No airbrushed image or intent other than to be him. You knew where he was at mentally, spiritually and emotionally when you listened. He let us in. That is the greatest gift an artist can give their audience, because it opens up space for others to do the same."
Also on Instagram, LL Cool J, né James Todd Smith, wrote, "You did everything you came to do. You impacted the world. You went from the underdog to the Big Dog."
"I'm honored we got to work together," he added. "You are a unique soul Earl Simmons. Your music will be here 1,000 years from now and [the] fire, passion, pain and positive energy you put into every word will always be celebrated, remembered and enjoyed by our culture. Bark from the heavens X. We Love you King. 🙏🏾♥️👑."
Grammy Award winner Common shared a special message to DMX in an Instagram post of the late star.
"You will always be one the most important ones in our culture and your spirit will live on forever!" he captioned his post. "You showed us how to pray in Hip Hop and that God loves us no matter what! May God bless your soul!"
On Instagram Friday, NAACP Image Award winner Idris Elba shared a photo in which he smiled alongside DMX. He captioned his post, "RIP X .. 🖤."
Pharrell Williams also shared his condolences for DMX. On Instagram, the star wrote, "The space you saw in a beat, the pain you would squeeze out of the moment and the words that would come of it makes you one of the best to ever do it."
"The Master sent for his legend to shine with the rest of the stars now. 🙏🏾," Williams continued.
Mariah Carey reposted an adorable video of DMX and his daughter on her Instagram story, in which the dad-daughter duo appeared to be having a blast together on the famous Orlando Slingshot ride at the Magical Midway Thrill Park in Florida.
And "Coffee" star Kelly Rowland shared a heartfelt Instagram post of her own, expressing her gratitude for DMX and his legacy.
"Thank You @dmx for sharing your light, your gift with us all!" she wrote. "We are grateful for your time spent here! 🙏🏾 Prayers to your beautiful family! 🙏🏾."
Her fellow Destiny's Child alum LeToya Luckett tweeted, "A gift to the world. A praying man. A king. Thank you DMX. RIH (Rest in Heaven). 🕊✨"
Charlie Wilson was also a longtime supporter of Simmons. The "There Goes My Baby" hitmaker and Gap Band alum tweeted on Friday, "Sending 🙏🏾 to @dmx's family. Lord, help us stop these substances from taking the lives of our brothers & sisters."
He went on, "Say it [with] me — 'God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can & the wisdom to know the difference.' R.I.P. DMX 🕊."
On Instagram and Twitter, Cinderella star Brandy shared identical posts which she captioned, "Words can't describe. DMX, Rest In Peace, Power, and Love. We will forever be grateful for your inspiration and your art. ❤️ Prayers up for his family and everyone who is touched by this loss. 🙏🏾"
And The Holiday Calendar star Kat Graham shared similar sentiments. She tweeted, "Currently listening to these icons. Rest In Peace, love and power DMX. Thoughts and prayers to his family friends and fans. 🙏🏽"
On the official Twitter account for the New Kids on the Block, the group expressed their gratitude for the late star.
Songstress Keri Hilson honored Simmons with a classic photo she shared on Twitter, writing, "Rest In Peace, DMX 🕊 I'll never forget the surprising impact you had on radio in the south during a time when music was still regionally separate."
Added Hilson, "I have many awesome memories attached to you. Thank you for your time here and for making it so purposeful, inspiring millions! 🌹"
And Mary J. Blige shared a photo that captured a heartwarming embrace she shared with Simmons.
She captioned her post, "Come on man 🤦🏾♀️😞 RIP to one of the greatest 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 @dmx."