(CNN) Hip-hop artists are mourning the death of fellow rapper Joe C., the comic relief in Kid Rock's Twisted Brown Trucker band. He was 26.
Joe C., whose full name was Joseph Calleja, since childhood had been battling Celiac disease, an intestinal disorder. He died on Thursday night in his sleep at home in Taylor, Michigan, according to Atlantic Records, the label representing Kid Rock.
Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert James Ritchie, says he feels like he has lost part of his family.
"Joey gave us and the world his love," he said. "He brought a smile to everyone who has ever known or seen him. In a world full of confusion, Joey made all of us laugh."
Due to his condition, Joe C. stood just shy of 4 feet (1.2 meters), but his short stature didn't prevent him from pursuing a music career. He made his recording debut in 1998 on Kid Rock's "Devil Without a Cause" and appeared as a Western gunslinger in the video "Cowboy."
Joe C. also contributed a solo performance to the soundtrack for "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" (1999); played Jerry Lee Lewis' young bride on an episode of "Saturday Night Live"; made an animated appearance on "The Simpsons" (Fox); and gave a memorable impersonation of Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock '99.
"Joe C. was an extraordinary inspiration," said Jason Flom, president of Lava Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records. "He overcame tremendous adversity to become a great performer and a truly wonderful human being. Despite living with chronic pain, Joe C. never let his condition prevent him from living life to the fullest and brightening the lives of everyone who knew him, on or off the stage."
He's still dead? Amazing!!!
welcome to like 4 years ago.
lmao. seriously, it has been at least 4-5 years.
he's burried in my hometown though. that's interesting.
I saw him do the Chicken Dance in Cincinatti.
Wonder if kid rock just carried the casket by himself at the funeral.
kid rock is going to be devastated. we probably won't get any more music from him. at best,i'm sure it will take years before he can put out another album
I never knew they attributed his death to Celiac. My daughter has Celiac...as do many people (who don't even know it) It is the most under-diagnosed disease.