A founding member of the group with one of the most memorable Oscar acceptance speeches in recent years died over the weekend. Three 6 Mafia’s Ricky “Lord Infamous” Dunigan died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack on Friday. Dunigan was the founding member of Three 6 Mafia, who won an Oscar for “Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” from 2005’s Hustle and Flow. He was 40.
“He passed away in his sleep from a heart attack,” his half-brother, Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul, told The Hollywood Reporter by phone. “He said he was tired, he wanted to sleep. He sat down at the kitchen table, put his head in his arms to lay down … to get some sleep.”
His mother had left the house for several hours and when she returned she found the rapper dead at the table. Paul learned the news after calls Saturday morning from the rapper’s mother and girlfriend.
“He’ll be remembered as a legend, everybody knew him as a legend, an icon,” Paul told THR. “This year was going to make our twenty-fourth year rapping together. His music, our music that we made together, was truly before its time.” [THR]
Dunigan had previously suffered a heart attack and stroke in 2010, according to HipHopDX. The group is best known for songs such as Ridin’ Spinners, Sippin’ On Some Syrup and the Oscar-winning It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp from the 2005 film Hustle & Flow. [USA Today]
When I think about my favorite acceptance speeches, the first three that spring to mind are Mickey Rourke going off at the Independent Spirit Awards, Cuba Gooding Jr.’s supporting actor Oscar win for Jerry Maguire, and Three 6 Mafia. It wasn’t really even anything they said, it was just that they seemed so sincerely thrilled to be there in a totally non-jaded way that you sort of just wanted to give them a hug. They even thanked George Clooney for being nice to him when they met. How great is that? RIP.
Also, I don’t know who this lady on the left in the reaction shot is, but she seems nice.