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BET’s ‘Boomerang’ yields first major role for on-the-rise actress

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Boomerang’ is dynamic, solid good content. The stories we are illustrating are universal,” said Brittany Inge, who is also the creator of The (Non) Starving Artists, which is dedicated to empowering and educating artists of every kind to be the lead in their own journeys.

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Cast of BET Network and Paramount’s Boomerang reboot where on-the-rise actress Brittany Inge (top row center) plays Crystal Garrett, a friend to the other main characters.

By Brianna Alexis Smith, Special to The New Tri-State Defender

The classic 90s film “Boomerang” is the latest movie to get its own reboot, courtesy of BET Network and Paramount Pictures.

Halle Berry, who starred in the original film, along with “The Chi” creator Lena Waithe, executive produced the 10-episode, half-hour romantic comedy series for BET as part of the network’s latest foray into scripted programming.

The series will continue where the 1992 film left off, focusing on the offspring of Jacqueline Boyer (Robin Givens), Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy) and Angela Lewis (Halle Berry), as they attempt to step out of their parents’ shadows and create a legacy of their own.

It is described as an updated version of the film “Boomerang” that explores today’s contemporary workplace dynamics – including the changing role of gender and office politics – relationships, love and the conflicts between Generation X and millennials.
On-the-rise actress Brittany Inge plays Crystal Garrett, a friend to the main characters.

Brittany and I attended The Atlanta University Center. She is alumna of Spelman College and I am alumna of Clark Atlanta University. We have mutual friends. When I learned she was going to be in “Boomerang” I went to work.

My friend gave me her contact and I reached out. After getting the green light from BET, she was excited to talk with me and shared some exclusive insight on her character, Crystal.

Brittany described Crystal as “the mother to her friends,” the friend who tries to be the voice of reason.

Crystal, 26 years old and newly divorced, works in advertising, under Marcus Graham’s advertising firm.

When the audience meets her, “she’s finding her way after her divorce. She’s creating a new path for herself and figuring out what it means to be by herself,” said Brittany.
Crystal is fun, smart and loving. She’s a pro-black natural girl, with curves.

“I’m super excited about being able to represent for curvier women,” said Brittany. “I’m thrilled to be able to use my voice and body (literally and figuratively) to show that we all have stories to tell and we don’t all look one way.

“This show will illustrate what it’s like to be a millennial in 2019. What it means to be black and progressive, and trying to live your best life in the world that we currently live in,” she said.

“People will really be able to connect with these characters and the realities that they deal with. …If you’re a fan of the movie, expect something completely fresh. If you want to see yourself or people you may know represented, this is the show.”

After graduating from Spelman College with a bachelor’s degree in music, Brittany began studying acting, and has been acting professionally for six years.

“This is my first major role. I’m so excited to be a part of this cast – full of fresh faces and new actors,” said Brittany. “My experience in the Spelman College Glee Club really helped prepare me for long hours, rehearsals, being disciplined and on time, and how to take direction – which all of those things apply now as an actor and full-time artist.

“Boomerang’ is dynamic, solid good content. The stories we are illustrating are universal,” said Brittany, who is also the creator of The (Non) Starving Artists, which is dedicated to empowering and educating artists of every kind to be the lead in their own journeys.

“Boomerang” will air on BET, Feb. 12 at 10 p.m. Keep up with Brittany by following her on Instagram at @BrittanyInge or visit www.thenonstarvingartists.com. Follow Brianna Alexis Smith @TheeJournalist.

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Five Years After His Death, New Music Arrives from Prince

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Welcome 2 America is a document of Prince’s concerns, hopes, and visions for a shifting society, presciently foreshadowing an era of political division, disinformation, and a renewed fight for racial justice,” Prince’s estate noted in a statement.

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On the title track, Prince sings: “Welcome 2 America, the land of the free – home of the slave.” Prince fans know that track is reminiscent of his 1985 song, “America,” from his “Around the World in a Day” album. (Photo: Prince playing at Cochella, 2008. / Wikimedia Commons)
On the title track, Prince sings: “Welcome 2 America, the land of the free – home of the slave.” Prince fans know that track is reminiscent of his 1985 song, “America,” from his “Around the World in a Day” album. (Photo: Prince playing at Cochella, 2008. / Wikimedia Commons)

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Five years after his sudden death, the icon Prince’s estate is releasing brand new music that is sure to excite his still loyal fanbase.

The new “Welcome 2 America” CD marks the first time Prince’s estate is releasing never-before-heard music from the megastar’s famous Paisley Park vault.

Fans got a preview on CBS’s Minutes, and Prince’s longtime guitarist, Brown Mark, sat for a special interview with the Black Press at 7:30 a.m. EST on Thursday, April 15.

The 12-track disc was recorded in 2010 to accompany a tour of the same name but never released.

The estate plans to debut the new music on July 30.

“Welcome 2 America is a document of Prince’s concerns, hopes, and visions for a shifting society, presciently foreshadowing an era of political division, disinformation, and a renewed fight for racial justice,” Prince’s estate noted in a statement.

Never a big fan of social media, Prince sings about how superficial social media could be, corporate monopolies in music and reality television.

On the title track, Prince sings: “Welcome 2 America, the land of the free – home of the slave.”

Prince fans know that track is reminiscent of his 1985 song, “America,” from his “Around the World in a Day” album.

In that song, the Purple One sings: “Aristocrats on a mountain climb, making money, losing time/Communism is just a word, but if the government turn over, it’ll be the only word that’s heard/America, America/God shed his grace on thee/America, America Keep the children free.”

Songs from the new CD include “Running Game (Son of a Slave Master),” “Born 2 Die” and “One Day We Will All B Free.”

Prince also sings about “Distracted by the features of the iPhone/Got an application, 2 fix Ur situation.”

During the “Welcome 2 America” tour, which lasted for three years beginning in 2010, Prince performed over 80 shows. The estate doesn’t explain why he never released the accompanying CD.

Prince died on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57.

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LIVESTREAM REPLAY: Who is Q Parker?

Q Parker’s career includes (1) Grammy, (2) Multi-Platinum Albums, a (1) Platinum, and two (2) Gold albums, (6) ASCAP Awards and the MTV Music Award. Growing up Q’s inspirations were all Gospel artists. His mom introduced him to the group Commissioned and John P. Kee , who became the aspiration for molding his musicianship.

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He’s a husband, Father, Singer and Actor. The Grammy Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter from Atlanta, GA , whose career started in 1992, at the age of 18, when he joined the group Forté while in high school.

Forté was discovered by music mogul Sean “Puffy/P-Diddy” Combs 1994 and they signed a deal with Combs’ Bad Boy Records that year. Eventually, the group was renamed 112, who toured with the likes of mega-stars Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Sean Combs.

Q Parker’s career includes (1) Grammy, (2) Multi-Platinum Albums, a (1) Platinum, and two (2) Gold albums, (6) ASCAP Awards and the MTV Music Award. Growing up Q’s inspirations were all Gospel artists. His mom introduced him to the group Commissioned and John P. Kee , who became the aspiration for molding his musicianship.

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COMMENTARY: Life After the Village: Tales from an Ex-Village People Cop

NNPA NEWSWIRE — More than sharing my personal experiences in that two year stretch with one of the most widely recognized names in music entertainment, singing some of the most popular songs of all times, including “YMCA,” “Macho Man,” and “In the Navy”, consider this — I have no idea how I ended up there.

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I’m writing a book called “Life After the Village People - Tales From an Ex-Village People Cop.” In it, I share some of the uglier, more painful, make you wanna give up twists and turns.
I’m writing a book called “Life After the Village People - Tales From an Ex-Village People Cop.” In it, I share some of the uglier, more painful, make you wanna give up twists and turns.

What’s on Miles’ Mind?

By Miles Jaye, For Texas Metro News & Garland Journal

Until you’ve reached the chapter called The End, there is always a next chapter to your life story. Many people get so caught up in the automation of their day-to-day existence as one thing or another, a schoolteacher, an accountant, a nurse, or physician, that they fail to consider what may come next.

It’s as though that vocation, career, or profession you chose in your twenties may last forever. Nothing could be further from the truth. Only a debilitating illness, accident or death itself can preclude a next chapter in your life story. That is why retirement comes with such a devastating blow, for so many of us.

This is a tale of the chapters following my years with a group known as the Village People. I was the “Cop” and lead singer from 1982-1984. To be clear and accurate, I was the third Village People “Cop” after Victor Willis, the original and composer of many of the group’s biggest hits, and Ray Simpson, Victor’s replacement and younger brother of hit singer/songwriter Valerie Simpson of Ashford and Simpson fame.

I was a new kid on the block. It wasn’t long after a 5-year stint in the U.S. Air Force and a year or two of surfing the New York jazz club scene and Europe’s jazz festivals that a musician buddy of mine, Bashiri Johnson, Michael Jackson’s percussionist, turned me on to an audition for a group looking for a new lead singer.

As much as I hated auditions… I was game. I had a wife, a young son, and a daughter on the way for motivation, so I went, not knowing it was for the Village People. I was the most unlikely candidate for the VP gig and, to this day, I don’t know if I would have even gone to the audition had I known what it was all about. I always thought of myself as a jazz guy. My father and brother were jazz men. They both played sax. I was a classically trained violinist, so I had a classical head, but a heart for jazz. I grew up listening to my brother’s Trane, Miles, Bird, and Monk albums.

My sister’s love was R&B. She actually took me to my very first concert at the Apollo in Harlem. The show headlined an R&B icon named Billy Stewart, singing hits like “Summertime” and “Sitting in the Park.” R&B touched my soul.

Growing up in the church, I heard more than my share of gospel music. To this day, it’s gospel music that speaks to my spirit. So, with a head for classical, a heart for jazz, R&B enriching my soul and gospel igniting my spirit, where did Village People music fit in? In short, it didn’t!

Much like the John Phillip Sousa military music I played for five years in the U.S. Air Force Band, it served its purpose as a means to an end.

If I had to choose, I would venture to say I had a greater appreciation for the Air Force Band music than the VP music. First of all, the AF Band played a surprisingly wide variety of music from the typical military marches to classical concert band repertoire to the pop Top Ten list.

I played flute and piccolo in the band. It’s when I was shipped out to the Philippines that I began my singing career, if you can call it that. What I will say about VP music is one — it is very well arranged and produced, and two — it was quite a challenge to a relatively new singer… me!

More than sharing my personal experiences in that two year stretch with one of the most widely recognized names in music entertainment, singing some of the most popular songs of all times, including “YMCA,” “Macho Man,” and “In the Navy”, consider this — I have no idea how I ended up there.

I would never have guessed it, and I’m sure that I wouldn’t have chosen it, but there I was on stages all over the world, singing to sold out crowds, at break-neck speeds in keys way too high for me, but somehow, I did it — I survived it.

So, I survived Brooklyn, the Air Force, and the Village People, what could possibly be next? Teddy Pendergrass of course.

Okay, you can’t make this stuff up. The point I’m making is that life is filled with unforeseeable twists and turns.

I’m writing a book called “Life After the Village People – Tales From an Ex-Village People Cop.” In it, I share some of the uglier, more painful, make you wanna give up twists and turns.

In times of doubt and despair, having lost all reason to care, among other things, I remembered the famous Winston Churchill quote, “Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

He also said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it’s the courage to continue that counts.” Smart guy!

Website: www.milesjaye.net, Podcast: https://bit.ly/2zkhSRv, Email: milesjaye360@gmail.com

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Entertainment

Michelle Obama is Inspiration For Teen NAACP Image Award Nominee’s Film

THE AFRO – Among the things Mrs. Obama said in her landmark speech were, “Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a place in our American story.” Mrs. Obama went on, “It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear.” “If we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us.”

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Los Angeles teen, 14-year-old Kaila Love Jones was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Short Form (Animated). (Courtesy photo)
Los Angeles teen, 14-year-old Kaila Love Jones was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Short Form (Animated). (Courtesy photo)

By Nadine Matthews Special to the AFRO

Fourteen year-old Los Angeles native Kalia Love Jones says she has always been a fan of former First Lady Michelle Obama. In an interview via email with the AFRO she stated, “[Michelle Obama] had been the first lady for the majority of my lifetime, so seeing somebody that graceful and intelligent, and a black woman meant so much to me. I had been following Michelle Obama for a while when I heard the speech online and it just spoke to me.”

The “speech” to which Jones refers, is the last official speech given by Michelle Obama as First Lady. Given in January  2017, at the annual White House celebration of school counselors from around the country, Obama’s comments pierced hearts, as the attitude of the then-incoming administration toward people of color, came into clearer focus.

It propelled Jones to make the animated film, “The Power of Hope,” nominated  this year for an NAACP Image Award in the Motion Picture category for Outstanding Short Form (Animated). “I knew we had a chance for the nomination but didn’t want to get my hopes up,” she stated. Ultimately, the award went to Netflix’s Canvas, but to be nominated was a tremendous achievement for the young filmmaker.

The NAACP Image Awards honor accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature, and film. It also recognizes individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.

“The NAACP Image Awards is such a prestigious award and I was so nervous to check. The whole family gathered together around the laptop. When we saw my film was nominated I couldn’t believe it. I was in the same category as major players like Netflix and Pixar and I was just a 14 year old with a dream. That was so amazing.”

Jones, also an ardent music fan and an accomplished pianist and flutist, is the youngest person to ever earn this honor. She believes in the power of storytelling through film. “It’s a perfect way to really tap into the senses of the brain. You can convey so much emotion through imagery, music and tone. I think most of my films will be heavily infused with music.”

Among the things Mrs. Obama said in her landmark speech were, “Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a place in our American story.” Mrs. Obama went on, “It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear.” “If we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us.”

Stated Jones, “It just spoke to me and I wanted to share that feeling I had with an audience my age. I felt that making ‘The Power Of Hope’ was the best way. Making ‘The Power Of Hope’ in animation was just a natural choice. I felt people my age would embrace its message better.”

Jones raised the money for the film herself through recycling and money from birthdays and holidays. “I didn’t have a huge budget so making my film taught me a lot about budgeting, negotiating and being creative.”

Although she believed in her final product, once the film was complete, she was somewhat hesitant to show her father, who she believes is her biggest champion. “When I finally felt like it was complete, we had a family premier viewing. That might have been the most nervous I’ve ever been. But the reaction I got from my dad was so positive, I really felt good about what I created.”

Jones who is a freshman at Golden Valley High School, shared that she has always wanted to do animation, “ I always knew animation was my calling.” With filmmakers like Ava DuVernay and Rebecca Sugar, and Studio Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki as her inspirations, she taught herself animation using YouTube tutorials, and experimenting for two years. “I’ll try to pick up different storytelling techniques by watching all of their films.”

Not surprisingly, she says her favorite actors are voice actors, but if she had the chance, she would like to work with Regina King (The Watchmen) or Storm Reid (Euphoria). As for other young girls aspiring to become animators, she recommends watching “‘Spirited Away’ or anything by Pixar.”

Understanding the power of an image and words to move people she says, “I want people to feel inspired when they see ‘The Power of Hope.’ I hope that they take away a message of courage and hope.

The post Michelle Obama Inspiration For Teen Image Award Nominee’s Film appeared first on Afro.

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Entertainment exec Holly Carter creating change with faith-based programming

ROLLING OUT – Carter continues to set standards, having recently developed a phenomenal Easter special: “Our OWN Easter” featuring Kirk Franklin, Anthony Hamilton and Fantasia, hosted by BeBe and CeCe Winans.

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Holly Carter (Photo credit: Derek Blanks)
Holly Carter (Photo credit: Derek Blanks)

By N. Ali Early, RollingOut.com

Long before the global pandemic known as COVID-19 changed the course of our lives as we knew them, Holly Carter was establishing herself as a force in the movie industry as the executive producer of the faith-based, family-friendly, biopic, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel. Off the set, she was also making a name for herself at church for tactics that many perceived as mysterious, to say the least.

“It’s so funny… I would sit in the back and pull out my oils and make myself right, because there’s so many people around, sniffing and snotting… and this is before COVID,” she explains. “They would be like, ‘Oh, here comes the witch doctor.

“But after a while, when people started getting sick, they were like, ‘Can I have [some]?’ I was like, ‘Oh, you want some of my oils, but I’m the witch doctor? Okay. All right. Here you go.’ So now every pretty much everybody in my church knows about the oils. I have half of them on it, and the other half still trying to figure it out.”

With an extensive stash of essential oils in her medicine cabinet that includes oregano, rosemary, peppermint, frankincense, on guard and Eucalyptus, it should come as no surprise that Carter is opposed to being vaccinated, for the time being.

“The blood is my vaccination,” she says with a very certain confidence. “As of now, we have no intentions of getting the vaccine. We obviously have an essential oil protocol for COVID. So we’ve not gotten COVID, thank God. And in terms of the blood of Jesus, I pray that over us as our vaccine. So right now we’re good.”

Setting protocol and establishing trends during the pandemic, or otherwise, is nothing new for Carter. Before her hit movie, The Clark Sisters, became the highest-rated Lifetime film of 2020, she was faced with the obstacle of how to market and promote a film she’d been fighting to get green-lighted for 17 years.
“Right before the movie came out we had all of these screenings set up across the country and we had to cancel them all one by one,” she says. “So we created this guerrilla [style] digital marketing program to get the movie out. I was interviewing everybody. … Latifah … Mary and Missy on Facebook, interviewed them all. I was talking to everybody, creating all kinds of activations.

“It worked so well, that Lifetime has taken the process, and now they do it for all their stuff.”

Carter continues to set standards, having recently developed a phenomenal Easter special: “Our OWN Easter” featuring Kirk Franklin, Anthony Hamilton and Fantasia, hosted by BeBe and CeCe Winans. She’s also set to produce Mahalia! along with Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere. The Amazon Prime flick finds the incomparable Jill Scott taking on the task of becoming the queen of gospel.

“I have made adjustments [that] have proven to be great,” Carter says humbly. “It’s been a blessed time for me, and I’m careful to say this, [but] … when change hits, change is required. And that’s what we did.”

The post Entertainment exec Holly Carter creating change with faith-based programming appeared first on Rolling Out.

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IN MEMORIAM: DMX, Hip Hop Superstar, Has Died at 50

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “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,” the family wrote in a statement. “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. 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. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”

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“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,” the family wrote in a statement.
“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,” the family wrote in a statement.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

DMX, the sensationally talented and gruff-voiced rap artist and actor who rose from the hardscrabble streets of Yonkers, New York, to become one of hip-hop’s most prolific stars, has died at the age of 50.

Most famous for the “Ruff Ryders Anthem,” DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons suffered a heart attack last we

ek.He was rushed to White Plains hospital where doctors worked for several days to try and revive him.

“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,” the family wrote in a statement.

“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. 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. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”

Raised by his aunt, DMX took hip-hop by storm in the 1990s.

He won Source magazine’s Unsigned Hype Award in January 1991 and released the promo single ‘Born Loser’ for Columbia Records.

After a nearly three-year hiatus, DMX returned to the limelight with an appearance on LL Cool J’s “4, 3, 2, 1.”

He worked with the Diddy protégé Ma$e on ’24 Hours To Live’, the LOX’s “Money, Power & Respect,” and the remix of Ice Cube’s smash hit, “We Be Clubbin.’”

After signing a contract with Ruff Ryders/ Def Jam Records, DMX recorded his iconic hit, “Get At Me Dog,” which quickly rose up the rap and pop music charts.

His seminal CD, “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot,” cemented his legacy as a rap music genius.

The website AllMusic.com noted that, following Tupac Shakur’s deaths and the Notorious BIGDMX took over as the undisputed reigning king of hardcore rap.

“He was that rare commodity: a commercial powerhouse with artistic and street credibility to spare,” editors at AllMusic.com wrote.

“His rapid ascent to stardom was actually almost a decade in the making, which gave him a chance to develop the theatrical image that made him one of rap’s most distinctive personalities during his heyday.”

Hype Williams’ motion picture “Belly” was among the first to cast DMX in leading roles.

The 1998 film also included Nas, Taral Hicks, Method Man, R&B singer T-Boz, and National Newspaper Publishers Association President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

Before the end of 1998, DMX completed his second album, and a pending buyout of Def Jam pushed the record into stores that December. Featuring a controversial cover photo of the rapper covered in blood, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood entered the charts at number one and eventually went triple platinum.

The following year, DMX hit the road with Jay-Z and the Method Man/Redman team on the blockbuster Hard Knock Life tour.

“The Ruff Ryders posse – of which DMX was a core, founding member – released a showcase compilation, Ryde or Die, Vol. 1,” AllMusic.com editors wrote.

“With contributions from DMX, as well as Evethe LOX, and multiple guests, Ryde or Die, Vol. 1 debuted at number one in the spring of 1999, further cementing DMX’s Midas touch.”

DMX went on to star in a myriad of motion pictures and television shows, including “Any Given Sunday,” “Gone in 60 Seconds,” and “Cradle 2 the Grave.”

DMX reportedly is survived by a fiancée, his mother and 15 children.

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