BIG PUNISHER aka CHRISTOPHER RIOS 1972-2000

Heavyweight hip hop star tipped to follow in the footsteps of Notorious BIG dies aged 28...

Rapper Big Punisher died last Monday (February 7) from a suspected heart attack aged 28.

He fell ill at a New York hotel earlier in the day before being taken to the city’s White Plains Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

It’s thought his 450 pound weight contributed to the heart attack – even walking had become a problem for the rapper in recent times.

One of the leading lights of the Puerto Rican rap scene, Big Pun, aka Christopher Rio, made his name on the underground until his 1998 single ‘Still Not A Player’ broke him through to the mainstream. He was preparing to release his second album ‘Yeehah Baby’ – the follow-up to 1998’s ‘Capital Punishment’ – in April and shot the video for the first single from it last week in New York.

Big Pun currently appears on the current Jennifer Lopez US single ‘Feelin’ So Good’ and was last week scheduled to perform on US TV show ‘Saturday Night Live’ with Lopez and his partner Fat Joe until ill health prevented him from doing so.

Lopez issued a statement on Big Pun’s death which read: “He was a source of pride for the Latin community, a great artist and a great person. We will miss him terribly.” It’s not yet known if Lopez’s single will see a UK release soon.

Big Punisher is survived by a wife and three children.