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Crowd Gathers For Emotional Vigil Outside White Plains Hospital Where Rapper DMX Remains On Life Support

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Rapper DMX remains on life support at a hospital in White Plains, where a crowd gathered for an emotional vigil Monday.

Family and fans of DMX held each other in heartache, praying for the 50-year-old rapper's recovery.

DMX performs at the 10th Annual ONE Musicfest at Centennial Olympic Park on September 8, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.(Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

"This is a legendary figure within our culture. One of the greatest artists in terms of showmanship," one person at the vigil told CBS2's Ali Bauman.

DMX, who grew up in Yonkers, was rushed to the hospital Friday night after suffering a heart attack.

His longtime attorney says he's on life support. A statement released Sunday afternoon said the rapper remained in a coma and was on a ventilator.

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

Bikers revved their engines by the hospital to honor the musician, who was part of the Ruff Ryders hip-hop collective.

DMX, whose birth name is Earl Simmons, released the first of his seven albums in 1998. He's a three-time Grammy nominee and a two-time American Music Award-winner.

Candlelight Vigil Held For Rapper DMX
WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK - APRIL 05: Ruff Ryders To The Rescue Foundation and fans hold Candlelight Vigil For Rapper DMX on April 05, 2021 in White Plains, New York. The 50-year-old rapper was admitted to the hospital after reportedly suffering a heart attack over the weekend. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

"I met him in the nineties," another person at the vigil told Bauman. "He was humble, he extended himself to the community."

Simmons' longtime lawyer said he was admitted to the intensive care unit over the weekend, but could not confirm what caused the heart attack.

TMZ reported the heart attack was caused by a drug overdose.

"A little heartbroken. This is somebody I look up to," said Alim Edwards, who traveled two hours from Staten Island to attend the vigil. "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."

Fans are hoping to return the favor to an artist who lifted them up.

DMX 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.

Masters Of Ceremony 2019
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 28: DMX performs at Masters Of Ceremony 2019 at Barclays Center on June 28, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

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."

The rapper also starred in "Exit Wounds" with Steven Seagal and "Cradle 2 the Grave" with Li.

Over the years, DMX has battled with substance abuse. The rapper canceled a series of shows to check himself into a rehabilitation facility in 2019. In an Instagram post, his team said he apologized for the canceled shows and thanked his fans for the continued support.

Last year, DMX faced off against Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle, which drew more than 500,000 viewers.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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