John "Ecstasy" Fletcher has died. Music fans were shocked and saddened to learn of the legendary Whodini rapper's passing today (Dec. 23) at the age of 56.
Questlove broke the news of Ecstasy's death in an Instagram tribute.
“One love to Ecstasy of the legendary #Whodini,” he said. “This man was legendary and a pivotal member of one of the most legendary groups in hip hop. This is sad man.”
Born on June 7, 1964, Fletcher formed Whodini with Jalil Hutchins in Brooklyn, N.Y. and DJ Grandmaster Dee later joined the group. Whodini was pivotal in helping rap records break onto R&B-dominated radio rotations, with hits like "Friends" and "The Freaks Come Out At Night" serving as some of the first rap singles to get such airplay around the country. Fletcher became a star along with the group, known for his distinctive "Zorro hat."
The news of his death spread quickly, with other stars like Jermaine Dupri -- who toured with Whodini as a youngster and eventually signed the group to his So So Def label -- sharing their grief and paying tribute to Fletcher.