At the end of the 1990s, the snarling yet soulful rapper known as DMX was dominating the Billboard album chart with his first five albums, each of which broke and reset numerous records in the hip-hop world. Despite the fact that his personal struggles came to rival his lyrical prowess, there is one thing we cannot deny: DMX was a legend, and he could still have been, if a fatal heart attack didn’t abruptly take away his life in April 2021. His loss was later confirmed by his fianceé Desiree Lindstrom and 16-year-old daughter Praise Mary Ella Simmons.
When rapper DMX passed away, he didn’t just leave behind a legacy of music, he also left behind his (many) children. In the final interview just a month before his death, the artist brought up how it is to be a father. “I think one of the toughest things about being a father…is how to teach your children not to listen to what their mother says about you just because you’re not together anymore,” the rapper said. “That’s a tough one.”
With the heated estate battle following his death and one person claiming to be his kid a day, everyone is getting more and more curious about the lives of Praise Mary Ella Simmons and other DMX’s sons and daughters. Read on and get to know them, shall we?
Just How Many Kids Does DMX Have Exactly?
DMX led a complicated life, filled with substance abuse and scandalous affairs – that’s something even his die-hard fans have to admit. Nonetheless, he had only been married once. In 1999, the famous rapper tied the knot with Tashera Simmons – an author, reality star, and DMX’s childhood friend.
“One day after work, one of my very good girlfriends… and I went out to a lounge called Arthur’s,” she recalled in her autobiography. “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 none other than DMX, but Tashera recognized him as Earl, and he remembered her from when she was a kid.
The couple got married in 1998. At the time, DMX was at the peak of his career with a string of No.1 records, notably “It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot” and “Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood”. That said, things couldn’t be better for X and Tashera…or so we thought.
“Marriage is difficult, and it’s even more challenging under the scrutiny of flashing camera lights, the media, and fans,” said Tashera. According to her, being a celebrity’s wife means she has to fight against the entrapments of fame. Success had brought them wealth, but along with it came the hardships. As DMX became more and more popular, his problems arose.
In 2005, as a result of DMX’s several arrests, drug addiction, and affairs, he and Tashera became estranged. To save their relationship, the couple took part in VH1’s Couples Rehab. Unfortunately, it didn’t help, and they finally separated in 2014.
Throughout 11 years together, Tashera and DMX share 4 children. Xavier Simmons, Tacoma Simmons, Praise Mary Ella Simmons, and Sean Simmons. As mentioned, though, those are not the rapper’s only children. His multiple extramarital affairs resulted in numerous offspring. Aside from the kids with his ex-wife, DMX also has 11 daughters and sons with 8 other women (and those are just the ones he confirmed!).
Here’s what we know about some of the rapper’s children:
Xavier is the oldest child of DMX and his ex-wife Tashera Simmons. As of 2022, he is believed to be 28 years old, which means his parents welcomed him before their marriage.
Judging from his social media, Xavier is now following in his dad’s footsteps. He works in the entertainment industry as a musician, author, and actor. According to his IMDb page, the fella has some movie and TV show credits to his name, such as Belly (1998), Angel: One More Road To Cross (2001), and Never Die Alone (2004).
DMX and his oldest son were said to once have a strained and complicated relationship due to the rapper’s drug addiction. This resulted in a few years of being disconnected. In 2013, DMX appeared on the OWN Network show “Iyanla: Fix My Life” to try and reconcile with his son, but it didn’t work out.
DMX And His Son Reunite
While Xavier wanted his dad to stay sober so the two could build a “healthy relationship”, DMX turned this request down. “If there is going to be a condition, if there is going to be a demand when all I have given you is unconditional love, I’m not going to allow that. I would never put a condition on our love or our relationship”, said the artist.
Then, in his last words to Xavier at that meeting, DMX added. “I guess I’ll see you at my funeral them”. Fortunately, the two seemed to have found a common round afterward. Fans were glad to see Xavier uploading a photo with his dad in the studio. “In the studio with two legends! And one in the making! Stay tuned,” the caption read.
Being the first child, Xavier was the first one to pay tribute to DMX during his memorial service. He said that the rapper was a king, and he was so honored to have him as his father.
Unlike his elder brother, the second child of DMX and Tashera prefers to stay away from the limelight. Born in 1999, Tacoma has enrolled at the Whittier College in California and studies to be a musical composer.
As seen on his Facebook profile, the young man is also a manager at Guitar Center. Tacoma also uploaded dozens of videos, playing the guitar of several hard-hitting songs.
“You are the true definition of if you continue to work hard for whatever you want… and never give up, you will get it!”, Tashera proudly wrote on her Instagram after her son was accepted into college.
During his childhood days, Tacoma was frequently spotted beside his father, even after DMX and Tashera’s divorce. For instance, the two were together at the premiere of Cradle. This implies that they had a fairly good relationship. As he grows up, though, the rapper’s second child tries his best to stay away from the media, so not much is known about him. According to some sources, at the age of 21, Tacoma has amassed an impressive net worth of $100 million thanks to his works as a musical composer, but this has never been confirmed.
DMX and Tashera’s third child is another boy, Sean Simmons. Just like his brother Tacoma, the 18-year-old stays out of the public eye. His Instagram account is set to private, but he still makes appearances in some of his mother’s posts.
“Today is such a special day for our family! 18 years ago today God blessed me with my 3rd healthy baby boy @s_simmons49 😪,” on Sean’s birthday, Tashera posted to her Instagram, “Thank you for your selflessness. Thank you for always being about family! And thank you for always wanting to be at the top of your class and in your schoolwork for me and in return benefiting it for yourself! Thank you for always respecting me.”
You may recall, in June 2021, DMX’s family members petitioned to become the administrator of the late rapper’s estate. The battle was messy because when he died, he didn’t leave behind a will. Following a lengthy back-and-forth, the temporary co-administrators for the estate of DMX have been confirmed.
The late rapper’s estate will be managed by Tashera, Xavier, Tacoma, and Sean. The three sons previously petitioned to become administrators of his estate, as did DMX’s fiancée Desiree Lindstrom and some of his children from other relationships.
Praise Mary Ella Simmons
Praise Mary Ella Simmons, who just turns 17 in 2022, is DMX’s only daughter with Tashera. From the look of things, it appears Ella may have been one of the children closest to DMX. It is said that the rapper was a doting father to her, and they were spotted together regularly.
But DMX wasn’t the only one who cherished his daughter. Praise Mary Ella Simmons‘ mother has posted numerous photos of her on social media, praising her fortitude, emotional intelligence, and warmth. In one post, Tashera wrote: “Blessed for having such a strong girl,” before going on to call Ella funny, smart, and full of light and love.
Following the loss of her father, Praise Mary Ella Simmons shared a heartbreaking post, revealing rare photos of herself and the OG rapper on her Twitter. According to her, no word can express how she feels. Mary Ella denied claims about her father having a heart attack due to overdose drugs and said she would love the rapper no matter what.
Precisely, here’s what Mary Ella wrote:
“Nothing will ever explain how I feel, how this all feels. my twin, I love you. There have always been so many misconceptions about who you were but that didn’t matter because I knew who you were. Eternally grateful to have had you. I love you forever dad.”
It is yet to know if the girl is interested in performing art like her parents. However, some of Praise Mary Ella Simmons’ social media activities suggest that she might be interested in modeling. She is still young, and all eyes are watching to see if she will follow in her parents’ footsteps to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
Outside of his marriage to Tashera, DMX welcomed his daughter – Sonovah Junior – in 2010. Not much is known about the mother of the 12-year-old girl, except her name is Sonovah Hillman Sr.
DMX’s spirit burns brightly in his daughter – that’s something we all can tell. Since a young age, Sonovah has expressed a passion and talent for music. In 2021, she released two songs, “I Hate Zoom” and “TikTok”. According to her, she is currently working on 18 songs and writes all her rap lyrics.
Following DMX’s tragic loss, the precocious prepubescent paid the ultimate homage to her iconic father by performing at a previously-scheduled tour site where DMX would have performed.
Sonovah Jr. took over the stage at Wildcatter Saloon in Katy, Texas, and performed the three-time Grammy Award nominee’s hit single, “Slippin,” while rocking a pink tutu and a T-shirt that featured an image of her with her late rapper father.
Sonovah Junior Raps Tribute To Her Dad
“I’m walking in your footsteps 🐾 I love you, dad,” she wrote on Instagram after the performance.
If you are DMX’s long-time fan, you might still remember his special bond with singer and actress Aaliyah in the 2000s. The two became close after “Romeo Must Die” and collaborated on a song together afterward.
Aaliyah ft. DMX – “Come Back In One Piece”
It is said that their bond even went beyond friendship, as DMX’s ex-wife Tashera even got mad when he was “too cozy” with Aaliyah on set. Well, she had a reason to. Although never confirmed any romance rumor, the late rapper constantly stated that Aaliyah was special to him.
Unfortunately, just a year after filming “Come Back In One Piece”, Aaliyah died in a plane crash. She was only 22 at the time. In 2011, DMX decided to pay tribute to the R&B rapper through his child. The “Where the Hood At” rapper revealed that he named his daughter after his friend.
“This is Aaliyah,” he said during an interview with BET’s 106 & Park, introducing his daughter to the audience. “It’s my newest baby, and I named her after Aaliyah because that’s how special she was to me.”
According to HollywoodLife, DMX and Desiree Lindstrom 28 started seeing each other around 2013. Three years later, the rapper welcomed his 15th child. The couple named the little one Exodus Simmons and he is Desiree’s first baby.
Even though DMX has gone through the joy of fatherhood 14 times prior to that, he was still pretty excited about his baby boy’s birth and called him a blessing. The Grammy nominee even took to his Instagram to share a heartwarming snapshot of himself cuddling with his youngest. The doting father put his arms around Exodus and planted a sweet kiss on his head.
Just a few months later, Desiree posted some photos of the father and son sharing a loving moment. DMX hugged his son and tried to kiss him.
The little one was not having it and tried to push his old man away. How adorable!
After many ups and downs, DMX finally got engaged to Desiree in 2019 during their son’s third birthday party. Regrettably, their wedding never happens. Following DMX’s death, Desiree applied in court to be declared the rapper’s “common-law wife”, but was turned down by a judge. If the petition had been approved, she would have been given immediate seniority over DMX’s 14 children with regards to potentially controlling his estate and any future earnings from his music.
Other Facts About DMX Outside The Limelight
It is true that DMX’s romance history has always been a topic of discussion. However, it is not the thing that helped him rise to fame. It is his unique sound and strong persona that marked his name in the entertainment industry. If you ever wonder who is DMX, or Earl Simmons, when he walks down the stage, let’s take a glimpse.
How Tall Is DMX?
Plenty of hip-hop stars is on the short side. For example, Eminem, Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West, Mac Miller, and Tory Lanez are just some of the short rappers that make it big. Well, DMX is not one of them. The rapper stands 5’9’’ (or 180cm) and weighs around 179lbs (or 80kg), making him a pretty muscular guy.
Interestingly, he was trained for boxing and was about to go on an epic boxing match with George Zimmerman, but the match was later canceled.
The Rapper Thought Mental Health Was Important
DMX’s past was not a bed of roses since he faced an abusive childhood life and would often go to group homes. As a result, he harbored a hard street persona, one that was filled with violence and rage, which he carried throughout his whole career.
In a discussion with Talib Kweli on People’s Party, DMX addressed his substance addiction, saying “drugs were never a problem, but a symptom instead”. According to him, his problem with drug-abusing resulted from him blocking out what happened to him in the past. Facing his bad memories helped him with his addiction and sobriety.
The celebrity also mentioned how sharing problems are considered “weak” in the modern days, but in fact, it is one of the bravest things you can do. “It takes a lot of courage to talks about your problems, but you have to choose the right person. Otherwise, it won’t be helpful as it should be”, he said.
He Doesn’t Always Want To Be A Rapper
You will be surprised to know that during his childhood, DMX’s dream was to be a firefighter. As it turns out, the rapper has bronchial asthma and used to have asthma attacks as a child, causing firefighters to be called in to help “calm [him] down”. From that point on, he saw firefighters as life saviors and wanted to become one, but that dream didn’t come true because of his asthma.
DMX also thought of being a pastor. The rapper first mentioned this a few years ago, when he gave an interview in prison. As he told Fox 10 News at the time, he revealed that being a pastor was his “true calling in life” and that being in prison helped him “[actualize his] true calling.” When DMX was asked what he was going to do after being released, he said he wanted to “give [his] first sermon in a church.”
Along with his music career, DMX has also ventured into the world of acting. You can find a list of various films in which he has appeared on IMDb, including Never Die Alone and Exit Wounds. DMX wanted to be regarded as “a serious actor,” according to an article in Entertainment Weekly.
He Has Been To Jail 30 Times (At Least)
DMX spent almost all his life dealing with legal troubles – that’s something we all know. But how many times did he find himself on the wrong side of the law? As stated by GQ, DMX has been in jail more than 30 times. His charges include drug possession, animal cruelty, and driving without a license.
X’s legal problems sometimes outshone his career, and the more successful he became, the more the law seemed to come after him.
DMX Had A Negative Net Worth When He Died
Despite being a household name for the last two decades and having several platinum-certified albums, DMX lost million dollars due to many legal obligations. At the time of his death, DMX’s net worth was negative $1 million. Spending most of his life in and out of prison, so the majority of his fortune went to dealing with legal issues.
As if that weren’t enough, DMX has a lot of children and, of course, he had to pay child support to their moms. The rapper was compelled to pay $1.5 million when his first extramarital affair was exposed. He filed for bankruptcy in 2013, stating that there were only $50,000 left in his assets. His filing was eventually turned down.
The Bottom Line
While it is true that DMX has led a complicated life, he has also left behind a musical legacy. That’s something Xavier Simmons, Tacoma Simmons, Praise Mary Ella Simmons, and his other children are gonna be proud of.
Most of all, the rapper always kept it real. He struggled with drug addiction at the age of 14, was in and out of an abusive household, was diagnosed as bipolar, and has been in jail many times throughout his life. Still, he used those experiences to connect with his fans, staying open about his struggles and journey to find redemption through religion. Whether you like him or not, that’s something to admire.