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UGK's Pimp C Dead

Pimp C of the long-running Texas hip-hop group UGK was found dead Tuesday in a Los Angeles hotel room. He was 33.

Pimp C was found dead in a room at the Mondrian hotel. Captain Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County coroner's office told The Associated Press that Butler had apparently died in bed, possibly of natural causes. "At this time there's no signs of foul play," Winter said. "It appears to be possibly natural, but pending autopsy and toxicology we can't say the cause." Winter told the Los Angeles Times, "There were no signs of trauma, no signs of drug paraphernalia."

No official cause of death had been cited at press time.

The rapper had been in Los Angeles to work on his next solo album for Rap-A-Lot Records, label head James Prince told the AP. He had performed Saturday night at L.A.'s House of Blues alongside Too Short.

No official cause of death had been cited at press time.

A press release issued on behalf of his family Tuesday reads as follows:

"It is with great regret that I must confirm that Chad Butler, a.k.a. Pimp C, one half of the legendary UGK, was in fact discovered dead this morning.

"Manager Rick Martin is asking that everyone please respect his family and those close to him at this time and refrain from rumors and innuendo.

"A formal statement will be released later this afternoon. Thank you all for understanding."

That statement came from Pimp's manager, Rick Martin. It reads: "This morning saw the loss of a man that was not only a client, but a very dear friend at a time when he had the most to live for. He was my best friend and I will always love him. Chad's tragic passing leaves behind mourners the world over, including his mother, wife and children whom Chad loved more than anything. An official cause of death has yet to be determined.

"I was so very proud of Chad and the growth he has shown since his release from prison; as an artist and businessman and as a person. As one half of the legendary Texas group UGK, Chad was finally seeing the results of the years of love and labor that he and Bun B have put in over the years, culminating in the tremendous success of their album, Underground Kingz. Chad was set to soar with not only a new solo deal on Jive Records, but a lucrative publishing deal, a new satellite radio show, several group projects and a national cologne endorsement. Chad had everything to live for, making his unexpected passing a travesty.

"Right now, my number one concern is the well being and livelihood of his family who are the ones most deeply affected by this loss. All efforts will be made to ensure that they are properly cared for in this tragic time and beyond.

As Chad's friend and manager, and on behalf of his family and those closest to him, we ask that you, the press, keep reports of his passing to tributes to his amazing contributions as an artist and wait for the facts surrounding his death to come to light. Please let us all remember Pimp C as the kind and warmhearted man and rap music pioneer that he was."

Barry Weiss, president and CEO of Jive Records, UGK's longtime label, said in a statement released Tuesday: "We mourn the unexpected loss of Chad. He was truly a thoughtful and kind-hearted person. He will be remembered for his talent and profound influence as a pioneer in bringing southern rap to the forefront. He will be missed and our prayers remain with his family and Bun B. I've known Chad since he was 18, and we loved him dearly and he was a cherished member of the Jive family."

The Mondrian Hotel released the following statement to the Los Angeles Times: "Mondrian received calls this morning from the family of Chad Butler inquiring about his whereabouts. Mr. Butler had checked into the hotel on 28 November and, according to the callers, was to have checked out yesterday. Security personnel went to Mr. Butler's room and found him in bed, apparently expired. A 911 call was placed at about 9:20 a.m. and paramedics from the Los Angeles Fire Department responded and pronounced Mr. Butler dead."

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