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Family of DMX asks for prayers and holds vigil outside New York hospital

Rapper DMX in critical condition
Rapper DMX in critical condition after heart attack 00:27

The family of famed rapper DMX held a vigil outside the New York hospital where the 50-year-old is hospitalized after suffering a heart attack. The rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was hospitalized Friday and is now "facing serious health issues," his family said.

"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," his family said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight

A large crowd gathered outside White Plains Hospital on Monday evening. They played the rapper's songs, chanted his name and prayed for his recovery.

"That's my best friend. He's brought me through things that you could never understand," fan Javonne Gray told CBS New York. "He meshed a world, the streets, rap, music and God."

Alim Edwards traveled from Staten Island to attend the vigil. "This is somebody I look up to," Edwards said. "A lot of times when you feel like you may be low, down in the basement, people like this are there to encourage you and bring you back to life. So, I really pay my respect to people like this."

A vigil for DMX outside White Plains Hospital on April 5, 2021. ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty

Known for his electrifying hits, DMX defined the 2000s era of hip-hop, earning five consecutive No. 1 album debuts on the Billboard 200 chart. He was nominated for three Grammy Awards throughout his career. He also received nominations for the BET Award for Video of the Year in 2006 and the MTV Movie Award for breakthrough male performance for 2001's "Exit Wounds."

DMX also became a welcome face on the silver screen, making his debut as an actor in the 1998 film "Belly." He also appeared and helped make the soundtrack for the 2000 film "Romeo Must Die," with fellow hip-hop icon Aaliyah.

The rapper has fixated a major influence on today's hip hop artists and can regularly be heard as samples by major artists like Drake and A$AP Ferg. 

Friends, fans and fellow musicians shared their love and concern for the rapper following news of his hospitalization. "DMX prayed over me once and I could feel his anointing," Chance the Rapper tweeted Monday. "I'm praying for his full recovery."

Missy Elliot tweeted: "Prayers for DMX and his family."

LeBron James also weighed in on Monday: "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!"

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