A rep for De La Soul confirmed the information but didn’t reveal the cause of death. Trugoy was open about his health issues in the past and has publicly spoken about his struggle with congestive heart failure in recent years.
In De La Soul’s “Royalty Capes” video, Trugoy candidly spoke about how his ailing health kept him from performing.
“I’m ready just to get back to the stage,” he said. “I miss that. I love traveling. I love being around my guys and I want that back.” De La Soul was part of the Grammys’ Hip-Hop tribute performance last week, but Trugoy wasn’t onstage with his group mates.
Trugoy, born David Jude Jolicoeur, formed De La Soul in Long Island in 1988 with Vincent Mason and Kelvin Mercer, better known as Maseo and Posdnuos. The group dropped their debut album entitled “3 Feet High and Rising” in 1989 and went on to release another eight albums after that, as well as win a Grammy and receive 5 additional nominations. Many artists have cited the trio as an important influence, including Mos Def, Jurassic 5, Tyler, the Creator, Pharrell, and Damon Albarn.
After learning of his death, countless musicians have honored the late Trugoy The Dove on social media. Pharrell, Chuck D, Maxwell, A-Trak, JPEGMAFIA, They Hate Change, and Open Mike Eagle have all posted tributes, as have Jenny Lewis, Kaytranada, Tim Burgess, and the Avalanches.
May Trugoy the Dove rest in peace.