Rapper Big Punisher Dead At 28

Cause of death unknown, but hospital source says friends suspect heart attack.

Latino rapper Big Punisher died Monday at the age of 28.

The rapper, who became a star with the 1998 single "Still Not a

Player" and can be heard on Jennifer Lopez's current single, "Feelin'

So Good," was pronounced dead on arrival at 3:53 p.m. EST at White

Plains Hospital in White Plains, N.Y., after being brought there from

a local Crowne Plaza Hotel, according to hospital spokesperson

Charlotte Heese. The cause of death was unknown, Heese said Monday

night.

A hospital source who requested anonymity said people accompanying the

rapper believed he succumbed to a heart attack.

His body was on his way at 9 p.m. Monday to the Westchester County

Medical Examiner's Office, a spokesperson there said.

Big Pun (born Christopher Rios) was slated to join Lopez and rapper

Fat Joe for a performance of "Feelin' So Good" during the weekend on

"Saturday Night Live" but did not turn up on the show.

He was preparing to release his second solo album, Yeehah Baby,

in April . He leapt out of the underground with his 1998 debut album,

Capital Punishment. In September, Big Pun, Fat Joe and four

other Latino rappers released a self-titled album under the name

Terror Squad.

Big Punisher is survived by his wife and three children.

(Staff Writers Christopher O'Connor and Brian Hiatt contributed to

this report.)