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Rapper Craig Mack dies, age 46

R.I.P: Craig Mack (Photo credit by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

RAPPER CRAIG Mack has died at the age of 46.

The hip-hop star is best known for the 1994 hit single Flava In Ya Ear, and was the first artist to release an album on Diddy's Bad Boy Records.

The success of the album was propelled by Flava In Ya Ear, particularly the remix, which featured Notorious BIG, LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes.

The single was certified platinum and nominated for a Grammy.

After departing ways with Diddy, Mack released a second album, Operation: Get Down, but eventually left music and devoted his life to religion.

DJ Funkmaster Flex, Biz Markie and DJ Scratch were among those paying tribute to the star.

"I just got a disturbing phone call. I cannot believe this dude is gone," said Scratch on Instagram.

Rest In Peace! Good brother... #CraigMack .... Alvin Toney love my brother...

A post shared by FunkFlex (@funkflex) on

"He just reached out a couple of weeks ago for me to speak on his documentary about his life. Craig was my roadie on tour. He would set up & break down my turntables every night... Rest In Peace Lil Bro."

According to the New York Daily News, Mack died of heart failure in hospital near his home in South Carolina on Monday (Mar 12).

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