Prince Markie Dee, who was one-third of the legendary rap trio The Fat Boys, has sadly passed away at 52 years old. The Sirius XM radio channel that Prince hosted and DJ’ed on, Rock The Bells, revealed the sad news on Feb. 18. “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,” the radio station tweeted on Thursday.The Fat Boys’ manager Louis “Uncle Louis” Gregory also reacted to the tragic news. “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,” the manager wrote while mourning Prince, whose real name was Mark Anthony Morales. Learn more about the man who had a significant impact on the rap genre:
The Cause Of Prince’s Death Was RevealedPrince allegedly died of “congestive heart failure,” according to a report from AllHipHop. HollywoodLife has reached out to Prince’s rep to confirm this report.
Prince Made His Mark On The ’80s Rap Scene With The Fat BoysPrince, along with Damon “Kool Rock-Ski” Wimbley and Darren “Buff Love” Robinson, landed a record deal after winning a contest at Radio City Music Hall in 1983 (they were known as The Disco 3 at the time). Their debut single arrived that same year, followed by their debut album Fat Boys in 1984 after the group name change.
Success came immediately to The Fat Boys thanks to their unique sound. Prince, Damon and Darren rose to popularity thanks to their witty lyrics and original beatboxing (which many music critics and writers credit for being the reason as to why this style gained such popularity in hip-hop). The Fat Boys released seven full-length albums during their run between 1983-1991, some of which went platinum and gold. Fellow rap icon Kurtis Blow produced these first two albums (you may remember the songs “Can You Feel It?” and “The Fat Boys Are Back”).
Sadly, one of the group members, Darren, died from a heart attack while suffering a respiratory flu case in 1995. This makes Damon the only surviving member of The Fat Boys.
Prince Was Also A Producer For Famous Artists Like Mary J. Blige
After The Fat Boys disbanded in 1991, Prince branched out into a solo career that saw him producing and writing for fellow music legends like Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. Here’s a fun fact: Prince helped produce and write Mary J. Blige‘s first-ever Top Ten hit on Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart, “Real Love.”
During this time, Prince also dropped two solo albums: Free (released in 1992 through Columbia Records) and Love Daddy (released in 1995 through Motown).
Prince Continued To Entertain Fans On Radio & Instagram
Later in his life, Prince ventured out to radio work. Between 2008-2010, he was the afternoon drive-time host and DJ for the WMIB radio in Miami, Florida. He also hosted his own show called The Prince Markie Dee Show on the SiriusXM radio station Rock the Bells.
Prince also maintained an active presence on Instagram; his last post, shared just 10 days before his death, was actually a tribute to The Fat Boys.
Prince Was From A Puerto Rican Family
Prince is of Puerto Rican descent. While he did not marry or welcome children, the famous emcee once dated Pepa, who was also part of a famous rap trio from the ’80s called Salt-N-Pepa.