“I was strolling [sic] through #tiktok and found a #DMX song that has saved me many times,” the Clueless star, 55, wrote via Instagram on Wednesday, August 31, alongside an emotional video of herself reacting to the news. “Suddenly it says #RIP i know I am late, i did not know he passed away, he #OD I am heartbroken – he was such a great guy.”
In the clip, Dash explained that the news hit her particularly hard because she has also struggled with substance abuse and addiction in the past. “I’m ashamed. I didn’t know DMX died. I didn’t know … from a cocaine overdose” she explained through tears. “I am today six years and one month clean. It breaks my heart.”
Dash concluded her video with an overwhelmed plea to her followers: “It breaks my heart [that] he lost … to that demon of addiction. Please don’t lose.”
The “X Gon’ Give it to Ya” rapper — whose real name was Earl Simmons — died at age 50 after suffering an overdose in his New York home in April 2021. The incident triggered a heart attack and despite being rushed to a nearby hospital, DMX remained unresponsive. Us Weekly confirmed that the “Party Up” musician passed away just under one week later.
“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 at the time. “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. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX.”
Like DMX — who sought treatment for substance abuse multiple times throughout the course of his career — Dash has been open about her struggles with addiction. During an October 2021 appearance on the Dr. Oz Show, she revealed that she tried drugs for the first time when she was 8 years old and was taking between 18 and 20 Vicodin pills per day at the height of her addiction.
“It was my choice to take that extra one even though I wasn’t in pain. I chose to do that because the Vicodin filled that hole inside of me,” the Single Ladies alum said on the show. “It filled that anger. It calmed that anger down. It slowed my brain down. It gave me the ease so that I could deal with life. That’s how I became addicted. It’s no one’s fault but my own.”
Dash, who was five years sober at the time, explained that she hoped sharing her story would help inspire others who also struggled with addiction to get the help they needed. “I thank the Lord for being able to say that I have grown more over the last 5 years than I have in my entire life,” she wrote via Facebook ahead of the Dr. Oz episode. I encourage anyone who has a story they are scared of telling to share it with the world. You never know who will be able to relate to you and who it can help.”
If you or anyone you know is facing substance abuse issues, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information 24/7.