Rapper Rick Ross reportedly hospitalized second time
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MIAMI (AP) -- Rapper Rick Ross was reportedly hospitalized in Alabama on Friday night after suffering a medical incident about a Memphis, Tenn.-board plane, the second time in six hours that a plane carrying the performer had to be diverted because of concerns about his health.
Ross was scheduled to appear at a University of Memphis basketball event on Friday night, and had even tweeted "Memphis here I come" after a medical scare hours earlier had prompted a Delta Air Lines plane to return to Florida so that Ross could be taken to the hospital.
But the 34-year-old Ross never made his scheduled appearance at an event called "Memphis Madness" on Friday night.
Memphis coach Josh Pastner told the crowd on Friday evening that a private jet carrying Ross made an unscheduled landing in Birmingham after the singer had another medical problem.
"On his way to Memphis," Pastner said, "he had to make another emergency landing, in Birmingham. He got really sick again, and they had to rush him to the emergency room."
Birmingham airport spokeswoman Toni Bast confirmed that a private plane traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Memphis made an unscheduled landing in Birmingham at around 5:30 p.m. because of a medical emergency, but she could not provide any further details.
WMC-TV in Memphis reported that Ross suffered a second medical seizure and had been hospitalized. His condition was not immediately known late Friday night. Calls to his publicist from The Associated Press were not returned Friday.
Ross was scheduled to perform Friday night at the University of Memphis basketball team's midnight opening practice event. At about 1 p.m. Friday, Ross was on a Delta Air Lines flight from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Memphis when he suffered an unspecified medical problem. The flight, carrying 121 passengers, returned to Fort Lauderdale.
Mike Jachles, a spokesman for Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue, said the flight landed at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and was met by paramedics. They performed what Jachles called "advanced life-support care," though it did not include CPR. Jachles could not specify what exact care Ross was given, but he said the performer was stable, breathing, conscious and alert.
Ross was in a seat when paramedics reached him and he walked off the plane, Jachles said. He was taken to a terminal area where he was evaluated before being transported to a Fort Lauderdale hospital to be checked out. Jachles said there was a doctor on the plane who had tried to assist Ross, though he could not say what, if anything, the doctor did.
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"Nobody told us, either when we were advised, dispatched or on the scene, no mention was made of CPR being initiated or in progress," Jachles said.
Soon after going to the hospital, Ross contacted Memphis to tell them he was still coming.
"He called a member of our staff and said not to believe what's out there and that he's on his way to perform at Memphis Madness," Lamar Chance, a university athletics department spokesman, said Friday afternoon.
"He called us," Pastner explained Friday evening. "We talked to him after the doctors cleared him. He said it was the altitude."
Pastner said that Ross was able to hop a private jet and was on his way a second time.
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A video on his Twitter page Friday night showed him talking from an airplane seat and promising to appear as scheduled in Memphis.
The Miami-based gangsta rapper gained fame with his husky voice and lyrics that spotlighted the grimier side of Miami life. He has become one of rap's most popular figures in recent years.
Ross, whose real name is William Leonard Roberts II, has a new album titled "God Forgives, I Don't," due out in December.
The hefty rapper's hits include "Aston Martin Music," "B.M.F. (Blowing Money Fast)" and "Hustlin'."
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