(CNN) — David Jude Jolicoeur, better known by the stage name Trugoy the Dove, member of the legendary rap trio De La Soul, has died.
The news was confirmed to CNN by Tony Ferguson, the band’s publicist. Jolicoeur was 54 years old. In a call to CNN, Ferguson said Jolicoeur’s death was “a great loss.” The cause of death was not released.
Jolicoeur, a native of Brooklyn, New York, is widely considered one of the most influential hip hop artists of the 1980s and 1990s for producing music in that genre that reflected a softer tone.
Jolicoeur and De La Soul members Vincent Manson, known as Pasemaster Mase, and Kelvin Mercer, known as Posdnuos, formed the rap trio in 1988 after attending high school together in Amityville, New York.
De La Soul released his debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, in 1989, which included the hit “Me, Myself and I,” which stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 17 weeks. James Brown’s album influenced artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy and NWA.
“I think that era’s element of what’s been happening in music, in hip-hop and in our culture, it’s welcomed it and opened the mind and soul to see and try new and different things,” Jolicoeur said last month to Billboard.
During his recording career, De La Soul has been nominated for six Grammy Awards and won one for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocal for “Feel Good Inc.” in 2006.
Another song from his debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, “The Magic Number” was featured as the closing credits song in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The use of the hippie-inspired song in “No Way Home” sparked renewed interest in De La Soul, but the song hasn’t been on streaming due to decades of legal complications surrounding the release of samples with the group’s former label, Tommy Boy Records -Services available.
Since Reservoir Media acquired De La Soul’s catalog in 2021, the path has been clear for the iconic trio to finally get their music onto popular streaming sites. The group’s first six albums will be available on platforms in March 2023, according to Billboard.
The last album Jolicoeur and De La Soul released was And the Anonymous Nobody… in 2016.
De La Soul was scheduled to do three shows in the UK from April 8, 2023.
“Trugoy Dave from De La Soul has stepped up to be with the Maestro on All-Star Day,” singer Pharell Williams said in a tribute Twitter. “Sending love, light and positive vibes to his family, The Soul and all those whose lives have been touched by his existence.”
Rapper and producer Erick Sermon also paid tribute to Jolicoeur on Instagram: “It hurts. From Long Island, from one of the best rap groups in hip hop #Delasoul #plug2, Dave has passed away, you will be missed…rest in peace.”