(CelebrityAccess) — Malik Taylor, a founding member of the of the rap group A Tribe Called Quest, died on Tuesday from complications of diabetes. He was 45.
"Malik was our loving husband, father, brother and friend," his family said in a statement. "We love him dearly. How he impacted all our lives will never be forgotten. His love for music and sports was only surpassed by his love of God and family."
Taylor, better known by his stage name Phife Dawg, had been suffering from health issues and had undergone a kidney transplant in 2008 due to diabetes, according to Rolling Stone.
Taylor performed on all five of the group's albums, but only released one solo album "Ventilation: Da LP" following the group's breakup.
The remaining members of the band released a statement regarding Taylor's death.
Our hearts are heavy. We are devastated. This is something we weren’t prepared for although we all know that life is fleeting. It was no secret about his health and his fight. But the fight for his joy and happiness gave him everything he needed. The fight to keep his family happy, his soul happy and those around him happy, gave him complete and unadulterated joy… until he heeded his fathers call.
We love his family his mother, his father, his son, his wife, his nieces, his family here in New York, Atlanta, California and Trinidad.
Thank you for the outpouring of prayers and support from the fans, fellow artists, music outlets, blogs, radio stations, DJ’s, social media and the music community at large. This too is part of his joy and means a lot to him. His family is overwhelmed by the support, well wishes and are thankful. His music and what he’s contributed is seismic and hard to measure. He’s affected us as much as he’s affected all of you. We’re inspired by his daily joy and courage. He wasn’t in pain. He was happy. We take comfort in knowing he will be beside his grandmother.
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