Authorities Seek Cause of O.D.B.'s Death

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NEW YORK - Autopsy results for rapper O.D.B., who died at a Manhattan recording studio, will not be available for several days while authorities conduct medical tests, officials said Sunday.

Results of the tests could take more than a week, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner's office.

O.D.B., whose legal name was Russell Jones, complained of chest pains before collapsing Saturday at the Manhattan studio. He was dead by the time paramedics reached him, said Gabe Tesoriero, a spokesman for Roc-a-Fella records.

The cause of death was not immediately clear, but O.D.B. had recently finished a prison sentence for drug possession and escaping a rehab clinic. He would have turned 36 on Monday.

Meanwhile, the music world on Sunday mourned the rapper's death as many of the industry's stars gathered in Los Angeles for the 32nd annual American Music Awards.

"Rest in peace Ol' Dirty Bastard," OutKast's Big Boi said while accepting one of his group's three awards of the night. "We love you."

Backstage after performing with Snoop Dogg, producer and N.E.R.D. member Pharrell Williams called O.D.B.'s death a "shame," and suggested the rap community "should stick together a little more and it won't hurt as much next time."

"He was a great guy, a nice guy," Williams said.

O.D.B., also known as Ol' Dirty Bastard, was a founding member of the rap group the Wu-Tang Clan.

With his unorthodox delivery -- alternately slurred, hyper and nonsensical -- O.D.B. stood out even in the nine-man Clan, and as a solo artist he released hit singles such as "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and "Got Your Money."

He had been working on his comeback album for more than a year and was almost finished, Tesoriero said.

Information about funeral plans was not immediately available.

O.D.B. was the latest in a string of rappers to meet an untimely death, among them Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, who was fatally shot in late 2002, and Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, who were both shot to death in the late 1990s. Those killings remain unsolved.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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