Reality television show star Christopher “Big Black” Boykin has died at age 45.
Boykin was best known as the other half of the hit MTV series “Rob & Big,” which aired for three seasons from 2006 to 2008, Variety reported. He was skateboarder and entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek’s best friend and bodyguard.
Boykin’s representative confirmed the death on May 9. An official cause of death has not been announced at this time, although sources close to Boykin say they believe he died of a heart attack, TMZ reported.
On their hit show, “Rob & Big,” Boykin and Dyrdek went on numerous adventures together, such as breaking Guinness World Records, installing an ATM, exorcizing their house, and catching people with their net gun.
The dynamic duo’s relationship reportedly became strained while shooting the show, but they eventually patched things up. Boykin would go on to appear in Dyrdek’s follow-up MTV shows, “Fantasy Factory” and “Ridiculousness.”
Before becoming a television star, Boykin served in the U.S. Navy. He also started a clothing line named after his signature catchphrase, “Do work,” in 2007.
“MTV is deeply saddened to learn the news of Christopher ‘Big Black’ Boykin’s passing,” MTV said in a statement. “He was a long time and beloved member of the MTV family and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this time.”
Boykin was 45 years old. He is survived by his 9-year-old daughter, Isis.
Friends, family and fans all throughout social media paid tribute to Boykin, whose death was also confirmed by his ex-wife on Twitter.
“This is Shannon, Big Black’s ex-wife, I’m heartbroken to tell you of Black’s passing,” she wrote from Boykin’s official twitter account. “He’s everything to me and Isis and we will miss him.”
“My heart is broken. I don’t want write this post,” wrote Dyrdek. “I don’t want to believe that this is reality. I am so thankful for you.”
“RIP Big Black. My heart is crushed,” wrote Chanel West Coast, who appeared on episodes of “Fantasy Factory” and “Ridiculousness” with Boykin. “I’ll remember all the times you made me laugh and my prayers go out to your family.”
“R.I.P. Christopher ‘Big Black’ Boykin. A childhood hero taken to soon,” wrote one fan. “Thanks for all the laughs back in the day.”
In his own final tweets, Boykin wrote about the forthcoming boxing match between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.
“Someway, Somehow this fight isn’t going to happen in Sept Canelo is going to purposely get hurt during training camp to delay this fight,” Boykin tweeted.