Skip to content

Trugoy the Dove, Founding Member of De La Soul, Dies at 54

No cause of death has yet been provided, but the rapper had been open about his recent health battles
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02: David Jolicoeur AKA Trugoy the Dove of the band De La Soul visits 'Sway in the Morning' with Sway Calloway on Eminem's Shade 45 at the SiriusXM Studios on June 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)

Trugoy the Dove, a founding member of legendary hip-hop trio De La Soul, has passed away, according to multiple media reports. The artist, who was born Dave Jolicoeur, was 54. A cause of death has not been disclosed, although Jolicoeur had battled congestive heart failure for some time and in 2020 was briefly hospitalized for the condition.

Jolicoeur was born in Brooklyn and raised in Long Island, where he met his future collaborators Posdnuos and Maseo in high school during the 1980s. They officially formed De La Soul in 1988, releasing their highly influential debut album 3 Feet High and Rising the following year.

De La Soul recently announced that their catalog will finally be available on streaming services as of March 3, following the resolution of decades-long negotiations regarding contracts and sample clearances. After the trio’s first six albums were acquired by Reservoir Media (as part of a deal with De La Soul’s longtime label Tommy Boy Records), the move was made possible. Leading up to the full catalog release, the single “The Magic Number” hit streaming sites on Jan. 13.

De La Soul members Posdnuos and Maseo most recently appeared at the 65th Grammy Awards telecast on Feb. 5 as part of a 50th anniversary tribute to hip-hop, though Trugoy was not present. In recent years, members of the trio have appeared on several Gorillaz albums and performed live with the group.

De La Soul is scheduled to embark on an international tour this spring, though there’s been no announcement yet if it will continue as planned. Read tributes to Trugoy below.