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Rapper Big Pokey dies at 48 after collapsing on stage

Houston rapper Big Pokeydied Sunday after collapsing during a performance, a representative confirmed to USA TODAY.

The musician, whose real name was Milton Powell, was performing at a Beaumont, Texas bar on Saturday night, according to reports.

Powell, 48, was rushed to the hospital. His cause of death is unknown.

The rapper was a former member of the influential hip-hop collective Screwed Up Click, and is known for his debut studio album “Hardest Pit in the Litter,” released in 1999. Powell released five other albums, including his most recent, “Sensei,” in 2021.

In 2005, he was featured on the Billboard Hot 100 single “Sittin’ Sidewayz” with Paul Wall.
The rapper’s death was first announced by fellow Houston rapper and Screwed Up Click associate Bun B, who shared an Instagram tribute Sunday.

“One of the most naturally talented artists in the city. Low key, humble mountain of a man who moved with honor and respect. He was easy to love and hard to hate,” the UGK rapper wrote.

“One of the pillars of our city. If heart of gold was a person,” he added.

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner also shared a tribute to the late rapper.

“Though many called him “low key”, his presence was larger than life in helping to catapult our hip hop scene nationally,” Turner wrote on Twitter.

An official statement was also posted to Powell’s Instagram account Sunday. “It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of our beloved Milton “Big Pokey” Powell,” the message read. “In the coming days, we will release information about his celebration of life and how the public can pay their respects.”

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