YONKERS — The memory of DMX filled the air in Yonkers, N.Y. on Tuesday evening as more than a thousand people gathered to honor their hometown icon.
Red balloons were released into the air and rows of red candles were lit along the sidewalk outside the complex where DMX grew up.
Earl Simmons, who was born in Mount Vernon, New York and raised in Yonkers, ascended to hip-hop stardom under the name DMX. Despite his fame, he was remembered as a local guy who did not forget his roots.
Those roots were on display Tuesday as Yonkers residents gathered around 6 p.m. to mourn the loss of DMX, who died on April 9 at the age of 50.
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A few people spoke a few words of remembrance, but it was mostly a silent and somber vigil. A DJ played music after the short formal part of the vigil was over.
Another vigil for DMX will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Fourth Street Park in Mount Vernon, N.Y.
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The local gestures carry on the legacy of DMX, who was hospitalized on April 2 after a heart attack. He was on life support at White Plains Hospital before he died there on Friday.
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The rapper’s family huddled outside the hospital last week as people gathered to show support for DMX.
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DMX became a prominent name with the Ruff Ryders rap group in the late 1990s and early 2000s. His hits included “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” “Get At Me Dog,” “Stop Being Greedy,” “… And Then There Was X,” “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood,” “The Great Depression” and “Grand Champ,” and “Party Up (Up in Here).”
Rap legend:DMX, a pinnacle of the ’90s and 2000s hip-hop scene, dies at 50 after heart attack
DMX released seven albums and earned three Grammy nominations. He also worked as an actor and appeared in films such as “Belly,” “Romeo Must Die,” “Exit Wounds” and “Cradle 2 the Grave”.
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Staff writer Mike Randall and photographer Peter Carr contributed to this report.