Rapper Old Dirty Bastard found dead in studio
KRT Mariah Carey, Old Dirty Bastard and Rockafella Records CEO Damon Dash attend a New York press conference.
NEW YORK - The rap artist O.D.B., who lived a life as wild as his lyrics, collapsed and died inside a recording studio Saturday, his record label said. He was 35.
O.D.B. had complained of chest pains before collapsing at the Manhattan studio, according to a statement from Roc-a-Fella records.
O.D.B., also known as Ol' Dirty Bastard, Dirt McGirt or his legal name of Russell Jones, was a founding member of the hit rap group the Wu-Tang Clan in the early 1990s. With his offbeat, unorthodox delivery, he segued into a successful solo career and released several hit singles.
But he was frequently in trouble with the law, mostly for drug possession.
In February 1998, he crashed the stage at the Grammy Awards and hijacked a microphone from singer Shawn Colvin as she accepted an award, apparently upset over losing the best rap album Grammy to Puff Daddy. He complained that he spent a lot of money for new clothes because he thought he was going to win. The rapper later apologized. Later in 1998, he was wounded in a shooting during a robbery in his apartment.
In 2001 he was sentenced to two to four years in prison for drug possession; plus two concurrent years for escaping from a rehab clinic. He was released in 2003 and immediately signed with Roc-a-Fella.
O.D.B. would have turned 36 on Monday.