Dr. Donda West, Kanye West’s mother, suddenly died last night, individuals close to the rapper confirmed.
The cause of death was not released immediately, but she was reportedly in the Los Angeles area when she died. Early reports suggest Dr. West's death may have been the result of some form of surgical procedure. Those reports have not been confirmed.
She was 58 years old.
A representative for the rapper told AllHipHop.com, "The family respectfully asks for privacy during this time of grief."
Kanye West chronicled his love for his mother in “Hey Mama,” a song from his 2005 album Late Registration.
In the song, Kanye raps, “(Hey Mama), I wanna scream so loud for you, cuz I'm so proud of you / Let me tell you what I'm about to do, (Hey Mama) / I know I act a fool but, I promise you I'm goin back to school /I appreciate what you allowed for me
I just want you to be proud of me (Hey Mama).”
West eventually performed the song in front of his mother and Oprah Winfrey on the TV host’s highly rated show.
Although she was renown as Kanye West’s mother, Donda West had achieved much on her own.
She served as the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University, but retired to act as Kanye's manager. She was an English professor for 31 years.
Earlier this year, she released a book called Raising Kanye, which chronicled her journey of raising her son.
In an interview with AllHipHop, Dr. West said she learned from her son and vice versa.
"Looking at Kanye has made me a more courageous individual, and I already saw myself as being courageous. I believe that Kanye has broken through and gone to levels and done things that I haven’t been able to reach yet," she told AllHipHop.com. "I have 28 years to his senior so I have a lot of experience. I’ve learned to speak my mind regardless of the consequences. I’ve learned a lot having raised Kanye and being his mother."
The word of Dr. West's death has traveled fast through word of mouth, in particular her hometown of Chicago.
“'The city of Chicago is hurting for Kanye West and his family. We know how much he loved and valued his mother and we just ask other cities to join us in prayer for Kanye,” said Kendra G, a Morning Show co-host at Power 92 in Chicago.
AllHipHop.com will provide more information as details are revealed. Our condolences go out to Kanye West and the family of Dr. Donda West.