Rapper Craig Mack, who had a US Top 10 hit with the seminal 1994 track Flava in Ya Ear, has died at his home in South Carolina at the age of 47. It is reported that he had been ill for some time.
Speaking to US entertainment trade website Variety, Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey said Mack had died of natural causes. The Guardian reports that the New Yorker died of heart failure.
Mack's Flava in Ya Ear was the first release on Sean 'Diddy' Combs' Bad Boy Records. It topped the US rap charts and was shortlisted for a Grammy in 1995.
The remix also became a hip-hop touchstone and showcased The Notorious B.I.G and Busta Rhymes.
Mack's debut album, Project: Funk Da World, was released in 1994 and went on to achieve Gold status - sales of 500,000 copies or more - in the US.
He followed it up with Operation: Get Down in 1997 but later turned his back on the music business to become an evangelical Christian.
In recent years, he had released music, with his final album, The Mack World Sessions, coming out in 2017. Mack had been working on a new record before he passed away.
Speaking to the New York Daily News, Mack's friend and producer Alvin Toney said: "He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord. He was prepared to do that. He wasn't scared. He was ready."
Mack's fans and fellow artists have been paying tribute:
Rest in power Craig. May the almighty embrace your soul & lift up your family and friends. it was a pleasure to know you & rock with you. You $tepped away from the game & did it your way.. I always respected that.#RIPCraigMack— LLCOOLJ. (@llcoolj) March 13, 2018
#CraigMack killed the 90s with 1 song and 1 remix. 👂🏽. Untouchable. RIP.— M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) March 13, 2018
Rest In Peace Craig Mack. ✊🏽🙏🏽— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) March 13, 2018
I'm devastated over the news of Craig Mack.. We just finishing up his new album.. smh.. Rest in Power Craig...— Erick Sermon (@iAmErickSermon) March 13, 2018
Rest in Beats Craig Mack— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 13, 2018