Rapper Pimp C from legendary group UGK found dead in Los Angeles hotel

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

LOS ANGELES -- Pimp C, one half of veteran Houston rap group UGK, was found dead Tuesday in an upscale hotel. He was 33.

"It is with great regret that I must confirm that Chad Butler, aka Pimp C, one half of the legendary UGK, was in fact discovered dead this morning," his publicist, Nancy Byron, said in a statement. "Manager Rick Martin is asking that everyone please respect his family and those close to him at this time and refrain from rumors and innuendo."

Pimp C, born Chad Butler, and partner Bun B were pioneers of Southern rap, and hit the mainstream with their cameo on Jay-Z's hit "Big Pimpin'."

The duo's career was derailed when Pimp C was jailed for three years in 2002 on gun charges. He released an album while in prison, and this year the group made a comeback with the critically acclaimed album "Underground Kingz," which included the hit "Int'l Player's Anthem (I Choose You)," featuring OutKast.

Barry Weiss, CEO of their record label, Jive, said in a statement: "We mourn the unexpected loss of Chad. He was truly a thoughtful and kind-hearted person. He will be remembered for his talent and profound influence as a pioneer in bringing southern rap to the forefront."

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