On Saturday, Tashera Simmons marked her 50th birthday on Instagram with a montage of throwback photos, including some from her childhood as well as moments from her wedding to DMX.
“Happy, happy birthday to me. April 10, 1971. Wow, what a ride. What a journey. As I close up the last 50 years of my life, I rejoice and I thank God for everything it has taught me. The journey that it took me through. The hurt, the pain, the triumph, the resistance, the resilience, the learning lessons, the relationships, the power,” Simmons said in a voiceover message along with the highlights of her life so far.
“I celebrate my life today grateful to God for the 50 years He has given me. But now I also celebrate my ex-husband, my best friend, my spiritual partner, my mentor. But I also thank God for his life and his peace. And his journey and his life lessons that were passed on and that will live on for generations to come,” she concluded.
DMX and Simmons married in 1998 and shared four children: Xavier, Tacoma, Praise Mary Ella and Sean.
They became estranged in 2005 and Simmons filed for divorce in 2012.
“Happy 50th birthday to me. ?? With much prayer, pulling. Crying and a roller coaster of emotions. I couldn’t bring myself to just celebrate and close the last 50yrs of my life with out celebrating the life of one of thee most important person in the world to me, my Ex-husband,” she captioned her video.
“I know today is my day. But I also understand that God is love. So When God allowed me to open up my eyes and granted me the gift of life, I realize more than ever, that was my true gift today. Glory be to God!! I am so grateful to God and Honored from the bottom of my heart, For the opportunity while on this Journey called life to join hands in marriage with a true disciple and Angel of God to do life with when we did. ??,” Simmons continued in her caption.
“Everything we went through was necessary. It made me the woman I am today. As I enter a new chapter in life, I don’t walk in it the same. Life is so fragile and special at the same time! My life lessons have raised me up to be a Mighty warrior of God! Loving, resilient and strong!” she wrote.
On April 9, DMX, a father of 15, died a week after suffering a heart attack at age 50.
The rapper and actor, born Earl Simmons, died at White Plains Hospital in New York, his family confirmed to PEOPLE. “We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50 years old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days,” they wrote in a statement.
“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”
Simmons concluded her Instagram post, “Thank you everyone for the over poor [sic] of your love and concern. It’s a very tuff time right now for me and my family… but I learned from one of the strongest men I knew. We will get through. God bless you all. ?????????? Happy birthday to me. ???????? wow the big 50.”
The “Party Up (Up in Here)” rapper was hospitalized in grave condition on April 2 after suffering a heart attack at his home around 11 p.m., his attorney Murray Richman told NBC News the following day. Simmons and DMX’s fiancée Desiree Lindstrom previously attended a vigil outside his hospital, where they prayed for his recovery.
Born Dec. 18, 1970 in Baltimore, Maryland, DMX released 15 Billboard Hot 100 megahit songs, including “Party Up (Up In Here)” which peaked at No. 27 on the list and charted for 21 weeks. His collaborative tune “Money, Power, Respect” with The Lox and Lil’ Kim peaked at No. 17 and charted for 20 weeks.
DMX has also appeared in 15 films, including Belly, Fast and Fierce: Death Race and Romeo Must Die — the latter alongside Jet Li and fellow hitmaker Aaliyah (who died in 2001 at age 22). The star has also made several TV appearances, including his roles guest starring in South Park, Moesha, Half and Half, Fresh Off the Boat and Eve.
DMX earned three Grammy Award nominations over the course of his decades-long career, including best rap solo performance for his smash hit song “Party Up (Up in Here)” and best rap album for his fan-favorite …And Then There Was X — both nominates came in 2000. In 2001, he was up for the Grammy for best rap solo performance for his jam “Who We Be.”
DMX is survived by his mother Arnett Simmons, his siblings, his children and their mothers.