Dee Dee Ramone, a founding member of punk pioneers the Ramones, died Wednesday night in his Hollywood home, according to a spokesperson for the L.A. County Coroner’s office. The bassist was 50.
Ramone (born Douglas Glenn Colvin) was found unresponsive by his wife at approximately 8:40 p.m. PT. She then called the Los Angeles Police Department, and L.A. City Fire Department paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
A cause of death is yet to be determined by the coroner, whose spokesperson said the case will be worked as a possible accidental drug overdose. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday (June 6).
Dee Dee formed the Ramones in the Forest Hills section of Queens, New York, in 1974 with guitarist Johnny Ramone (John Cummings), drummer Tommy Ramone (Tom Erdelyi) and singer Joey Ramone (Jeffrey Hyman), who died of lymphoma last April. Dee Dee left the band following the release of 1989’s Brain Drain to adopt the persona of rapper Dee Dee King and was replaced by C.J. Ramone (Christopher John Ward).
When his rap debut, 1988’s Standing in Spotlight proved less than successful, he formed the Chinese Dragons.
Dee Dee returned to the Ramones fold in the ’90s, penning several tracks on the Ramones’ studio swan song, 1995’s Adios Amigos. He last shared a stage with his fellow Ramones in March, when the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.