Prince Markie Dee, radio personality and the Fat Boys rapper, has died. He was 52 years old.
Dee’s longtime friend Louis Gregory confirmed the news via Twitter on Thursday (Feb. 18), though did not reveal a cause of death.
“Forever in my Heart,” he wrote. “Prince Markie Dee was more than a rapper; he was one of my very best and closest friends. My heart breaks today because I lost a brother. I’ll always love you Mark and I’ll cherish everything you taught me. Tomorrow is your birthday, swing my way big bro.”
SiriusXM’s Rock the Bells, where Dee had a daily show, also tweeted a message of mourning. “The Rock The Bells family is heartbroken to learn of the passing of Mark ‘Prince Markie Dee’ Morales earlier today,” the tweet read. “That voice and his presence can never be replaced. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones.”
The Rock The Bells family is heartbroken to learn of the passing of Mark “Prince Markie Dee” Morales earlier today. That voice and his presence can never be replaced. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. 🙏🏾🕊 pic.twitter.com/Tn6wSJ6soq
— Rock The Bells (@RockTheBells) February 18, 2021
Dee teamed up with fellow Brooklyn natives Darren Robinson and Damon Wimbley to form the Fat Boys in the early 1980s, and the group went on to release seven studio albums. While all their albums earned a placement on the Billboard 200 chart, 1987’s Crushin’, which featured hit single “Wipeout,” gave them an all-time high, peaking at No. 8 on Sept. 12, 1987. The project also snagged the No. 4 spot on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart on Sept. 5, 1987.
“Wipeout,” which featured the Beach Boys, peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart on Sept. 19, 1987.
Following the news of Dee’s death, a number of stars took to social media to honor the legend’s impact on hip-hop. See below.
Man….such a good dude a @hiphopgods legend
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) February 19, 2021
— DJ CLARK KENT (@DJClarkKent) February 18, 2021
I’m CRUSHED man. RIP PRINCE MARKIE DEE
one of the most underrated MC/Producers EVER. 1st LATINO MC to go Platinum. FAT BOYS the 1st RAP TAPE I ever owned. He Produced classics REAL LOVE for @maryjblige, @MariahCarey, Destiny’s Child, @ArianaGrande @Drake, Craig Mack, Frank Ocean
— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) February 18, 2021
Wow I did a zoom interview with the legend a month ago R.I.P. Prince Markie Dee of The Fat Boys 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿
— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) February 19, 2021
— B.R.O.theR. ?uestion (@questlove) February 18, 2021
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.