Mark Morales, rapper, actor and music producer better known as Prince Markie Dee and member of the group The Fat Boys, has died at age 52 of unknown causes.
Morales’ death was announced on Sirius XM’s Rock the Bells show, where he served as host and DJ. “The Rock The Bells family is heartbroken after learning of the passing of Mark ‘Prince Markie Dee’ Morales. That voice and his presence can never be replaced. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones,” said the format through from Twitter.
Born in Brooklyn in 1968, Morales co-founded what would become The Fat Boys with his friends Damon ‘Kool Rock-Ski’ Wimbley and Darren ‘Buff Love’ Robinson. They began their career as The Disco 3, a group that achieved success after winning a rap contest that earned them a record deal and the release of their first single, Reality.
The group changed its name and in 1984 released its debut album, Fat Boys, considered the first hip-hop album to include beatboxing. This album was a success and it is considered that it marked a before and after in rap. Jail House Rap, Can You Feel It ?, Stick ‘Em, Don’t You Dog Me and Fat Boys are some of the album’s standout tracks.
In 1985 they made their film debut with Krush Groove, a fictional narrative from the founding of Def Jam Recordings in which musicians performed and performed various songs.
The Fat Boys recorded seven albums in total, achieving their greatest success in 1987 with the release of Crushin, which went platinum. His next album, Coming Back Hard Again from 1988, was also very successful thanks to his cover of The Twist with Chubby Checkers.
Following the group’s separation in 1991, Morales began his solo career as a performer and producer. In 1992 he released Free and that same year he produced and co-wrote several tracks on Mary J. Blige’s debut What’s the 411, including the popular song Real Love. Morales also produced for Craig Mack and Marc Anthony, among other artists.