Rap legend Prince Markie Dee who was part of the 80s rap group The Fat Boys has died aged 52.
The musician whose real name is Mark Anthony Morales had also been a successful producer and songwriter during his showbiz career, as well as the Vice-President of the Uncle Louie Music Group.
The musician is said to have passed away on Thursday, according to SiriusXM's Rock The Bells station where he had previously hosted his own radio show.
Sharing a tweet, the station said: "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."
Prince Markie's manager, Louis Gregory later confirmed the heartbreaking news on social media but didn't reveal a cause of death.
In a heartbreaking post to his 324,200 followers, Louis penned: "Forever in my Heart. 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."
Mark's showbiz career kickstarted in 1983 when The Fat Boys [Mark, Darren Robinson and Damon Wimbley] were crowned the winners of a talent show at New York's famous Radio City Music Hall and by the time the nineties were approaching, they had quickly become one of the biggest names in rap.
The group went on to release a string of platinum-selling albums including their fourth record, Crushin', before starring in the comedy film Disorderlies in 1987.
Shortly after the split of the pioneering music group, Mark launched a solo career after signing with Columbia Records, which saw his debut album Free top the charts.
As well as his own vocals hitting the top spots, songs he had penned for the likes of Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Mary J. Blige and Destiny's Child have all been worldwide hits.
Fans have since taken to social media to share their condolences with Mark's loved ones during this emotional time.
One tweeted: "Damn I'm speechless! I just watched Krush Groove yesterday and the Fat Boys scenes were always my favourite. Rest Easy Markie Dee."
While a second went on to say: "Another part of my childhood gone. He will fondly be remembered I assure you."
"No, my God… may he rest in peace… horrible news… Fat Boys are a legendary group, hip-hop pioneers for sure," added a third.
- In the News
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