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Rapper Phife Dawg passes away

Los Angeles: Rapper Phife Dawg, a member of rap group A Tribe Called Quest, is dead. He was 45.

The rapper died on Tuesday at his home in the San Francisco Bay Area, his family said in a statement, reports aceshowbiz.com.

Dawg's death was confirmed by Dion Liverpool, his family and longtime manager.

"His love for music and sports was only surpassed by his love of god and family," the statement from the family read.

Dawg was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1990 and received a kidney transplant in 2008. His death was prompted by complications of diabetes.

Dawg rose with A Tribe Called Quest in 1980s and broke up with them for the first time in 1998. The group later reunited several times with the latest being last year to celebrate the anniversary of their debut album. Before his death, Dawg had planned to release several more solo albums.

The band members said in a statement: "Our hearts are heavy. We are devastated. This is something we weren't prepared for, although we all know that life is fleeting.

"It was no secret about his health and his fight. But the fight for his joy and happiness gave him everything he needed. The fight to keep his family happy, his soul happy and those around him happy, gave him complete and unadulterated joy ...until he heeded his father's call."

"Thank you for the outpouring of prayers and support from the fans, fellow artists, music outlets, blogs, radio stations, DJ's, social media and the music community at large."

"This too is part of his joy and means a lot to him. His family is overwhelmed by the support, well wishes and are thankful. His music and what he's contributed is seismic and hard to measure."

"He's affected us as much as he's affected all of you. We're inspired by his daily joy and courage. He wasn't in pain. He was happy. We take comfort in knowing he will be beside his grandmother."

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