Missy Elliott, Ludacris, and Chance the Rapper are leading the tributes to tragic hip-hop legend DMX following his death on Friday.

The X Gon' Give It to Ya hitmaker, real name Earl Simmons, passed away at the age of 50, a week after he was hospitalised in his native New York following a heart attack.

The loss of the star, who had long battled substance abuse, prompted a wave of tributes across social media platforms, with Missy Elliott among the first to take to Twitter to send her condolences to his loved ones.

"Even through you had battles you TOUCHED so many through your MUSIC and when you would PRAY so many people FELT THAT!," she wrote, mourning: "This is heavy for the HipHop family but your LEGACY LIVES ON & SPIRIT. Continued Prayers for X family & friends for STRENGTH/HEALING (sic)".

Ludacris posted to Instagram: "The Impact That this Man made on The Culture is Unprecedented. I Have So Many Great Stories Of Hanging With X that I will truly Cherish for the Rest Of my Life. One of the Most Genuine & Passionate Human Beings I've ever had the pleasure of Sharing Memorable Time & Energy With. Rest In Peace Soldier (sic)".

Meanwhile Chance The Rapper offered up a simple: "Rest in Heaven DMX," and T.I. tweeted: "Rest In Peace to a cultural icon. There are no words that can mend the loss the hip-hop community felt today."

Ice-T shared: "Very Very Very few will EVER do it like you homie…. Man! This sucks… Tooooo Fn (f**king) young to go. Rest easy X (sic)."

DMX's former Ruff Ryders Entertainment labelmate and frequent collaborator Eve wrote: "#mydog I know that you are in the place of peace you deserve."

Their longtime friend and fellow original Ruff Ryders artist Swizz Beatz has yet to issue a statement, but shared a captionless image of his late pal on his Instagram Story timeline on Friday.

Actress Gabrielle Union, who co-starred in DMX film Cradle 2 the Grave, wrote: "No words right now. Nothing but fierce love, prayers and protection for X's family, friends and fans. This loss is devastating. #RIPDMX," and Halle Berry mourned: "DMX. His gift meant so much to so many. Sending love to his family."

Officials at DMX's previous label, Def Jam Recordings, also issued a statement, expressing their heartache at his untimely death.

"DMX was a brilliant artist and an inspiration to millions around the world," it read, adding: "His message of triumph over struggle, his search for the light out of darkness, his pursuit of truth and grace brought us closer to our own humanity."

The missive continued: "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who loved him and were touched by him. DMX was nothing less than a giant. His legend will live on forever."

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