Prince Markie Dee of the legendary New York City Hip Hop trio the Fat Boys has passed away at the age of 52.
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Born Mark Anthony Morales, Prince Markie Dee formed the Fat Boys alongside Damon Wimbley (Kool Rock-Ski) and Darren Robinson (Buff Love/The Human Beat Box) in the early 1980’s. His death was reported by Louis Gregory, the group’s manager.
“Forever in my Heart,” Gregory wrote in a tweet. “Prince Markie Dee was more than a rapper; he was one of my very best and closest friends. My heart breaks today because I lost a brother. I’ll always love you Mark and I’ll cherish everything you taught me. Tomorrow is your birthday, swing my way big bro.”
The group’s debut came in 1983 when they won a talent show at Radio City Music Hall. Initially known as The Disco 3, they eventually changed their name to the Fat Boys.
In 1987, the Fat Boys achieved their breakthrough as their album Crushin’ peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200 chart and at the number four position on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Since its release, Crushin’ has been certified platinum with over one million copies sold.
The album included a cover of “Wipeout,” which featured The Beach Boys singing backup vocals.
After the Fat Boys disbanded in the early 90’s, Morales went on to have a successful solo career. His 1992 album Free included the hit track “Typical Reasons (Swing My Way),” which peaked at the number 29 position on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart.
As of writing, a cause of death is not known.
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