Ice-T's masked guitarist DENNIS MILES has lost his battle with lymphoma. The BODY COUNT star was 45.

Miles, who was known as D-ROC, took to wearing a hockey mask on his face following the controversy surrounding Body Count's COP KILLER hit - because he didn't want to be recognised.

The mask became a fearsome reminder of gangsta rap at its most furious.

In a statement released by Body Count star ERNIE C, the guitarist says, "He didn't want to get caught up in the hype of being a star."

Meanwhile, Ice-T states, "D-Roc was the backbone of the Body Count sound. Words cannot explain how much we will miss D-Roc more as a friend than as a band member."

Miles' death is the latest in a long line of Body Count tragedies - drummer BEATMASTER V lost his battle with leukaemia in 1996 and bassist MOOSEMAN was shot to death four years ago (00).

The deaths do not mean the end of the pioneering rap/rock group - Ernie C states, "Ice-T and I will always play together."

26/08/2004 21:06