Pioneering hip-hop artist Keith Grayson, who performed as DJ Kay Slay

and worked with top stars, has died of complications from COVID-19.

Grayson's death at age 55 on Sunday was confirmed by his family

statement released through New York radio station HOT 97,

where he hosted "The Drama Hour" for more than two decades.

"A dominant figure in hip hop culture with millions of fans worldwide

DJ Kay Slay will be remembered for his passion and excellence with a legacy

that will transcend generations," the family statement said.

"Hot 97 is shocked and saddened by the loss of our beloved DJ Kay Slay," the station said in a statement.