Hip-hop producer and rapper J DILLA has died from the immune disease lupus. He was 32.

The musician, real-name JAMES YANCEY, collapsed in his Los Angeles home on Friday (10FEB06) and was found by his mother, his manager TIMOTHY MAYNOR confirmed.

The Detroit, Michigan-native was diagnosed with lupus - a condition where the sufferer's immune system goes into overdrive and attacks the body's healthy cells - three years ago (03).

Maynor says despite his condition, Yancey continued his career as normal and recorded his latest album DONUTS, which was released last Tuesday (07FEB06), in hospital. Maynor says, "He was optimistic about working on future projects and doing future shows.

"We went over to Europe in December (to tour). He was sickly but at the same time, he wanted to be there. I told him, 'I'm prepared to carry you, if I have to carry you down stairs and put you on stage.'"

Yancey, also known as JAY DEE, was a member of rap group SLUM VILLAGE and produced for a huge number of urban stars, including De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, THE PHARCYDE, The Roots, Common, D'angelo, Erykah Badu, A Tribe Called Quest and Kanye West.