Rap diva Ms. MELODIE, a member of the pioneering hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions, has died. She was 43.
Multiple music industry websites reported that Ms. Melodie died Tuesday. The cause of her death was not immediately disclosed.
The Brooklyn-born entertainer, whose real name is Ramona Parker, was the ex-wife of rapper KRS-One.
In 1988, Ms. Melodie released her first single “Hype According to Ms. Melodie,” and then a full album, “Diva,” a year later on Jive Records.
One of rap’s first female emcees, Ms. Melodie was also known for her 1989 hit single “Self Destruction” and her groundbreaking video “Live on Stage.”
She even made a cameo in Queen Latifah’s video, “Ladies First.”
Ms. Melodie often used her rhymes to speak out against violence in the rap industry.
“I’m Ms. Melodie and I’m a born again rebel/The violence in rap must cease and seckle,” she rapped on “Self Destruction.”
Her death stunned the music world and prompted condolence posts on Twitter.
“RIP Ms. Melodie. A dope MC,” tweeted hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, using a slang term that means top-notch.
Deejay Jazzy Joyce added, “R.I.P Ms. Melodie of B.D.P!”