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David Jolicoeur has died at the age of 54 according to US media. Image Credit: AFP

New York: David Jolicoeur, member of the De La Soul trio who went by "Trugoy the Dove," has died, US media reported Sunday. He was 54 years old.

The music outlet AllHipHop first reported the news, which was confirmed by trade publications Rolling Stone and Pitchfork.

No cause of death was reported.

Trugoy had spoken publicly in recent years about his struggles with congestive heart failure, and said his health problems had prevented him from performing and touring with his fellow De La Soul members.

The pioneering hip hop group - which also includes Posdnuos and Maseo - formed in 1988 in Amityville in New York's Long Island.

They gained a following for their eclectic sampling, lighthearted wordplay and influence in alternative hip hop, including jazz rap.

The group exuded a positive spirit in contrast to the image of gangsta rap on the West Coast.

The New York trio recently began releasing their classic early hits on streaming platforms, following a decades-long battle over their samples.

The New York trio's first six albums, dating from 1989 to 2001, had previously not appeared on streaming platforms because their label, Tommy Boy, never tackled the huge legal task of clearing all the samples (there are some 60 to 70 on "3 Feet..." alone).

News of Trugoy's death prompted quick reaction from industry peers, including the influential MC Big Daddy Kane: "It was a honor to share so many stages with you."