Ricky Dunigan, who was a founding member of Three 6 Mafia under the name Lord Infamous, died Friday at the age of 40, Rolling Stone reports.
According to his bandmate and uncle DJ Paul, Lord Infamous died in his sleep of a heart attack at his mother's house in Memphis. He had not been recently ill, though the rapper did suffer a stroke and heart attack in 2010.
"He was at home sitting at the table and he just lay his head down and he just left us," DJ Paul said.
Lord Infamous, DJ Paul and Juicy J formed Three 6 Mafia in 1991. In 2006, their song "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," which was featured in 2005's Hustle and Flow, became the second rap song to win an Oscar for Best Original Song after Eminem's "Lose Yourself." They are still the only hip-hop group to win an Oscar.
The original members of the group recently reformed as Da Mafia 6ix and had released an album, 6ix Commandments.
"He was a legend in the game, truly ahead of his time," DJ Paul said. "He was such a great lyricist and he always came with these different styles in his rap and his flow."
"Lord Infamous was the kind of person that never cared about having a lot of money or this or that. He just liked to make music, he liked to rap, and he liked to make people happy," DJ Paul added.
"R.I.P. lord Infamous," Juicy J added on Twitter. "Thx you for your prayers , I'm very hurt, can't believe it's true," he wrote.
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