Producer DJ Mark the 45 King, who worked with hip-hop legends like Eminem, Queen Latifah and JAY-Z, has died. He was 62.

According to Variety, a representative for the producer confirmed the news. Several of the 62-year-old’s collaborators, including the “Wrath of My Madness” MC, paid tribute to him.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved Mentor DJ Mark the 45 King!” Latifah said in a statement to Variety. “He believed in me before anyone else. He touched every life he encountered. I’ve never met someone like him; he wanted everyone around him to win. His spirit was magic and will certainly live forever.”

Hip-hop producer and former Gang Starr member DJ Premier remembered the producer on social media.

“His sound was unlike any other, from his heavy drums, and his horns were so distinct on every production,” he wrote in a lengthy Instagram caption.

DJ Mark the 45 King was born Mark Howard James in 1961 in New York City. He started DJing in the 1980s and got his stage name from playing uncommon 7″ singles. He signed a production deal with Tuff City Records, using his newfound status to amplify the careers of his crew, the Flavor Unit. The group included Latifah, Chill Rob G, Apache and others.

Latifah’s debut album, All Hail the Queen, released on Tommy Boy Records in 1989, was a career-high for her and James. The label soon distributed music by other Flavor Unit members, with James producing most of those tracks.

James also found success across the pond, but for his work on the mic. He had a hit single in the U.K., “The 900 Number,” later used as the inspiration for DJ Kool’s 1996 song “Let Me Clear My Throat.”

James struggled with substance abuse in the 1990s, though he had several career milestones, including producing JAY-Z’s smash “Hard Knock Life” in 1998. The new millennium started with a bang for James after making one of Eminem’s signature songs, “Stan.”

In 2014, James opened up about his health in a YouTube video, in which he talked about enduring a heart attack. He was a smoker then, taking medication to recover from the attack.

Years later, in 2021, he made his acting debut in 6:45, a horror film directed by Craig Singer. Rapper Remy Ma was also a part of the film, acting in a supporting role.

James’ iconic discography includes Rakim, MC Lyte, Craig Mack and remixes for Madonna, Public Enemy, Lisa Stansfield, Salt-N-Pepa, Eric B. & Rakim, Gang Starr and more.

His cause of death has not been shared publicly.