The hip-hop photographer and New York City legend, Ricky Powell, has died aged fifty-nine.
His cause of death has since been confirmed. Here's the full story...
Often referred to as the "fourth Beastie Boy," Powell touched the hearts of many with his work.
Damn. The loss of these times is relentless. RIP Ricky Powell.— Ⓣⓐⓡⓐ (@djtara) February 2, 2021
Thousands of tributes have already come flooding in for the icon...
RIP Ricky Powell. Man... I’ll never forget the hangs your crib back in the 90s, the never ending calls editing you column, or the crazy trip to Australia. You were there and had a camera when history was happening, and those images, like the memories, will live forever.— Noah Callahan-Bever (@N_C_B) February 2, 2021
RIP Ricky Powell. True York City creative to the core.— richie cruz (@richiecruz) February 2, 2021
Rest In Peace to RICKY POWELL - I know it's cliche to call somebody 'one of a kind' after they pass.... BUT RICKY truly was a ONE OF A KIND personality, There was Nobody like him. The man was a staple to NEW YORK CITY and his photography was iconic and loved WORLD WIDE.— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) February 2, 2021
I was DJing one night in the LES & Ricky Powell walked up to the booth and said “I dig your style, young man.” Needless to say I was humbled. Rest In Peace to the legend #rickypowell— maticulous (@maticulous21) February 2, 2021
RIP Ricky Powell. Always a memorable encounter to say the least.— N*I*C*K (@catchdini) February 2, 2021
Ricky Powell touched my life in so many ways, and it was always a bug out. I can tell you one thing. :: His legacy WILL be preserved— MF Synapse (@DJSynapse) February 2, 2021
Just heard that NYC photographer & Beastie Boy friend Ricky Powell has died. This is awful! He sent me one of my favorite texts & always made me smile. A true NYC legend. Invisible jazz cigarettes in heaven. 💔— Siouxzy Ferris🍸 (@TheSiouxzy) February 1, 2021
Ricky Powell was as interesting himself as the people in his iconic photos. He had a show here in LA for Contact High and he was hilarious! It was like the dopest comedy/photo show. @peanutbttrbaby and I got a chance to actually meet him! A real fan moment for me. #RIPRickyPowell— WHIZ WARD (@yopotnawhiz) February 2, 2021
Ricky Powell shaped a lot of the way I experienced NYC as a kid and the way I see this place now. He was awesome to see around the neighborhood always talking shit lol.— Andrew Kuo (@earlboykins) February 2, 2021
RIP to a damn legend
RIP Ricky Powell. I randomly met him almost a whole decade ago when i stumbled into his pop up gallery at Basel. I still remember being blown away by how cool and down to earth he was in convo and it wasn’t until after we met that I realized how big of a legend he really was 🐐 pic.twitter.com/I2EnBlhKjQ— shellz. (@shellhathnofury) February 2, 2021
Absolutely gut punched to hear that my friend, mentor, & brother from another mother Ricky Powell passed away. Amazing photographer, True Yorker, & gatekeeper for all things cool. Condolences to Tono & the extended family of friends & fans. pic.twitter.com/QCgH3m4vEc— Earl Douglas (@edouglas528) February 2, 2021
Man. RIP Ricky Powell, my favorite hip hop photographer ever. A year and a half ago I bought a few photo prints of his for my crib. He signed everything and was so cool about it. He always had so much flavor. pic.twitter.com/DWy8CogUNN— Kibbutzy Collins (@atrak) February 2, 2021
only just heard about ricky powell, gutted. this photo of big l is one of my favorite music photos ever taken and he had a thousand more that were just as great. RIP pic.twitter.com/B2HibEL8Pj— Jack Hamilton (@jack_hamilton) February 2, 2021
Powell is renowned for snapping some of hip hop's greatest icons over the years.
Gutted to hear that Ricky Powell has passed away. A legend and one of my favorite photographers. Gonna miss his flickaroonie posts on IG. Sad day. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/wNE7aVdKV8— wonway posibul (@wonway) February 2, 2021
The sad news of his death was confirmed by Powell's manager Tono Radvany, who told Pitchfork: "I just want to let everybody know he was a very special man, and he will be sorely missed."
During his career, Powell was known for capturing the likes of Run-DMC, Chuck D, and LL COOL J.
RIP Ricky Powell - he always showed love. He kicked it with us one time when my friends and I played dominoes at a Good Life party. He was fun & interesting to be around. RIP pic.twitter.com/M3HSix2ZJX— ADUM⁷ 𓂀 (@ADUM7x) February 2, 2021
As well as his work on the hip-hop scene, Powell also worked with Madonna, Andy Warhol, Sofia Coppola, and Vin Diesel.
However, Powell was known worldwide for his work with the Beastie Boys...
With whom he became close friends and was often referred to as the 4th band member.
Powell was born in Brooklyn and actually took up photography on a whim, after an ex-girlfriend left her camera at his apartment.
RIP Ricky Powell. This little clip has stuck with me for years. pic.twitter.com/gKGSwq6lvE— Metal Mijo (@cradleofchill) February 2, 2021
Little did he know at the time that it would change his life completely.
He got his big break in 1986 when he joined the Beastie Boys and Run DMC on tour. And the rest is history...
Rest In Paradise Ricky Powell.— 🛒 (@SHPLFTD) February 2, 2021
A true legend in the photography game. Truly missed. Archive everything. pic.twitter.com/nKPNjoaH1w
Powell is said to have died of heart failure at the age of fifty-nine.
Rest in peace. Our thoughts go out to his friends, family, and fans at this difficult time.