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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 November, 2004, 17:56 GMT
Obituary: Ol' Dirty Bastard
ODB was used to living his life in the spotlight
Rapper ODB, a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, has died in a New York recording studio.

ODB - Ol' Dirty Bastard - recently came out of prison after serving a sentence for drug possession. The rapper, whose real name was Russell Jones, would have been 36 on Monday.

He was famed for his unorthodox delivery, which became famous when he first hit the music scene in the 1990s with the Wu-Tang Clan, alongside Method Man, RZA and Ghostface Killah.

Each member went on to pursue their own solo work, with ODB having great success with numbers including Shimmy Shimmy Ya and Got Your Money.

He also dabbled in the mainstream, appearing on remixes with artists including Mariah Carey.

But with increased fame came increased pressure, and his behaviour became more erratic.

When his career was at its height, he and his children were followed by an MTV News camera crew, which filmed them being taken in a limousine to the welfare office to receive food stamps.

And in February 1998, millions of TV viewers saw him dive onto the stage at the Grammy awards, hijacking the microphone from singer Shawn Colvin as she was given her prize.

ODB then complained that he had spent a lot of cash on new clothes for the event because he had thought he would win the best rap album category, which went to P Diddy.

He later apologised for his outburst.

He began his career with the Wu-Tang Clan before going solo
But he also had several brushes with the law. He was wounded in shootings and arrested over charges including menacing security officers, illegally possessing body armour, driving with a suspended licence, shoplifting and threatening a former girlfriend.

By 2000 he had been ordered by a court to attend a rehabilitation centre in California but he escaped and managed to evade capture for a month.

Police arrested him in Philadelphia, three days after he had been performing in New York with members of the Wu-Tang Clan.

The following year he was sent to prison to serve a four-year sentence for drug possession, plus two concurrent years for his escape from the California clinic.

He was as famed for his erratic lifestyle as his music
But by 2003 he was released again and signed with the Roc-a-Fella record company working on a comeback album.

"Russell inspired all of us with his spirit, wit, and tremendous heart," said Roc-A-Fella founder Damon Dash.

"The world has lost a great talent, but we mourn the loss of our friend."

His death follows the deaths of several other rappers, including Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, who was shot in late 2002, and Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur, who were both shot in the late 1990s.

Those killings remain unsolved.

Rapper collapses and dies aged 35
14 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Wu Tang Clan rapper jailed
19 Jul 01 |  Entertainment
Rapper on attempted murder charge
18 Jan 99 |  Entertainment


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