“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,” the statement issued on Friday (Apr. 9) reads. The tragic news came a week after DMX suffered a fatal heart attack and was left in a “vegetative state.” Millions prayed for his recovery, including his ex-wife, Tashera Simmons.
Shortly after DMX was hospitalized, Tashera uploaded a video of fans playing his music outside the White Plains, NY hospital, where he was being treated. “The love is real,” she captioned the IG Story, per The Jasmine Brand. “This just touched my heart.” Sadly, the rap icon would not recover, leaving his family and fans in mourning. As the world reflects on the loss of one of the genre’s most distinct voices, here’s what you need to know about DMX’s ex-wife.
1.Where Is Tashera Simmons From?
Tashera Jamilla Draughn was “born in New York, New York April 10, 1971, and is the eldest of 8 children,” according to her official website. In 978, her “Panamanian born mother and Brooklyn born father” relocated the family out of New York – which was plagued with crime, fires, and economic strife – to the neighborhood of Yonkers. Despite the move, her parents still struggled with stress and drugs, resulting in Tashera and her siblings being “abandoned.” Tashera stepped up to “become the maternal figure,” per her website, resulting in her working odd jobs to support everyone.
2.When Did DMX & Tashera Simmons Meet?
After dropping out of high school, she began dating a childhood friend: Earl Simmons, the man who would later achieve fame and success under the name DMX. “One day after work, one of my very good girlfriends…and I went out to a lounge called Arthur’s,” she wrote in her memoir, You Think You Know. You Have No Idea. “At this time, I was only eighteen. I didn’t drink, so I grabbed a soda from the bar…My sister’s baby father walked up to me and said, ‘My man wants to meet you.’” That man was DMX, but Tashera recognized him as Earl, and he remembered her from when she was a kid.
“After that day, he would call me and beep me throughout the day,” she wrote, adding that she played hard to get and refused to return his calls. A chance meeting at a party sealed their romance not with a kiss but with a diss.
DMX was playing a party at the Brown Eyes lounge. Tashera and her friends arrived, just for him to surprise her. “I’m about to sing this next song that’s dedicated to someone in her called ‘Once Upon a Time,’” he said, per her memoir. From there, he rapped, “ ‘Once upon a time, I knew a girl named Tashera that was fronting / so she didn’t know the person in the mo=irror / Like one night if her period wasn’t on she would of f-cked me / then she spent whole next week trying to duck me.’” Though she first felt humiliated, DMX’s song led Tashera to confront her feelings about him – and it turns out, she felt some true love.
3.When Did Tashera And DMX Get Married?
The couple tied the knot in late 1998, according to her website. At the time, DMX was one of the biggest rappers in the world. His first two records – It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood – were both released in 1998, and singles from the two albums (“Ruff Ryders Anthem,” “How’s It Goin’ Down,” “Slippin,”) were chatting hits. On Dec. 21, 1999, DMX dropped ….And Then There Was X, featuring “Party Up (Up In Here),” “What’s My Name?” and more. It seemed everything was going well for X and Tashera, but things weren’t always what they seemed.
“Marriage is complicated, and it’s even harder under the scrutiny of flashing camera lights, the media, and fans,” she posted to her website. “Faith kept me by my husband’s side every step of the way, and it has also changed me. As a celebrity wife, it is easy to become enthralled by the glitz and glamour and get lost in the entrapments of fame. Success has afforded us the best of everything. However, along with the wealth came the struggles.”
“The relationship we once shared quietly became a public spectacle,” she wrote. “The exposure started to become overwhelming as I desperately searched for any semblance of normalcy. My desire was to get away from the judgments, criticism, and harassment. It was like watching our lives on the big screen, unable to predict the next scene. As Earl’s popularity increased, tribulations escalated.”
4.When Did Tashera And DMX Get Divorced?
In 2005, amid DMX’s multiple arrests, prison stints, and drug issues, he and Tashera became estranged. The two took part in VH1’s Couples Rehab to help salvage their union. It didn’t help. She filed for divorce in 2012.
“To be honest with you, I’m not perfect. But overall, when I really look back, I wouldn’t change a thing,” she told Essence in 2012. “As far as when you say ‘mistakes’ in our marriage, I know that the mistake I made, as a woman, was that I sacrificed too much of myself in that relationship. I just felt like it went unnoticed. But I would do it again because me and X started when we were 18 years old, so it’s really like we have 24 years together. I learned so much [from] my journey with him, so I wouldn’t change that.”
“I do still feel bad about getting a divorce, even after everything X put me through because I took my vows very seriously,” she added. “But [there] just comes a time when you give your all, and you know you gave your all, and it’s just time to move on. …Regardless of what was going on, I still stayed loyal and faithful to my marriage. That’s why I can move on and feel really good right now because I know I gave my all to this marriage.” The couple finalized the split in 2014.
5.Do Tashera And DMX Have Any Kids Together?
Tashera wrote about her experiences in her memoir. She formed the Freedom of Truth foundation in 2010 “with the purpose of being a source of inspiration for women all over the world,” and the foundation helps poverty-stricken single parents.
Tashera and DMX had four children together — Xavier, Tacoma, Praise Mary Ella, and Sean. However, those are not the only children DMX has. His multiple extramarital affairs produced numerous offspring. He had 15 children in total.