News: BREAKING: James Gandolfini AKA "Tony Soprano" Dead At 51, Hip-Hop Reacts

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 8:02PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Renowned actor James Gandolfini, mostly known as "Tony Soprano" from HBO's "The Sopranos," has passed away at the age of 51, sending shockwaves throughout the hip-hop community.

According to reports, Gandolfini suffered a fatal heart attack in Italy.

4:48 PM PT -- The celebrity tributes have begun ... we just spoke with Joseph R. Gannascoli -- aka Vito on "The Sopranos" -- who tells us. "James is one guy who never turned his back on me. He was the most humble and gifted actor and person I have ever worked with." He adds, "He was a great man and I will forever be indebted to him." James Gandolfini -- who famously played Tony Soprano on "The Sopranos" -- died earlier today in Italy ... TMZ has learned. Gandolfini is believed to have suffered a heart attack. He was 51. Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily -- and he was scheduled to participate in a festival event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino. (TMZ)

Hot 97 radio host Peter Rosenberg could not believe the unexpected news.

"Wow RIP James Gandolfini ... What an actor...damn so young," Rosenberg tweeted June 19th. (Peter Rosenberg's Twitter)

Former Little Brother member Phonte shared a similar reaction.

"Damn. RIP James Gandolfini. I just watched him the other night in "Killing Them Softly."" (Phonte's Twitter)

Boston's DJ Statik Selektah called JG one of his all-time favorite actors.

"Wow Rest In Peace James Gandolfini ... one of my favorite actors of all time.... I'm secretely wannabe-Tony Soprano of the rap game." (DJ Statik Selekah's Twitter)

Comedian Mike Epps tweeted out a photo of himself with the late Hollywood star.

"RIP TO JAMES GANDOFINI GREAT ACTOR GREAT MAN BIG TONY pic.twitter.com/GoQntlf0R8" (Mike Epps' Twitter)

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