Police found the 33-year-old artist, of the hop-hop duo UGK, dead in his L.A. hotel room early Tuesday

By EW Staff
December 05, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

Rapper Pimp C, one half of the underground hip-hop duo UGK, was found dead in his Los Angeles hotel room early Tuesday, according to Billboard and other reports. He was 33. Police responded to a 911 call and discovered the artist, born Chad Butler, in his bed at the Mondrian Hotel on the Sunset Strip.

Butler founded UGK with Bernard Freeman (a.k.a. Bun B) in the 1980s and experienced success throughout the late 1990s (including a memorable guest spot on Jay-Z’s ”Big Pimpin”’). In 2002, Butler was sentenced to eight years in prison due to issues stemming from an assault charge. He was released in 2005, and his 2006 solo album, Pimpalation, hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. UGK’s most recent effort, Underground Kingz, their first studio album in half a decade, debuted at No. 1 and spawned the hit single ”Intl’ Players Anthem,” with OutKast.

Butler last performed in L.A. over the weekend. Authorities haven’t determined a cause of death. (Billboard)