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Christopher ‘Big Black’ Boykin, ‘Rob & Big’ Star, Dies at 45

UPDATED: Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, half of MTV’s “Rob & Big” duo, died on Tuesday, his rep confirmed to Variety. He was 45.

A cause of death has not yet been reported.

Boykin was skateboarder and entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek’s best friend and bodyguard, starring alongside him in “Rob & Big” for three seasons. The fan-favorite reality series showed the two in their day-to-day lives, filming such adventures as adopting a mini-horse and breaking Guinness world records.

The show premiered in 2006 and ended in 2008, after Boykin had a child and stopped living with Dyrdek. He would go on to appear in several episodes of Dyrdek’s follow-up to “Rob & Big,” “Fantasy Factory,” as well as three episodes of Dyrdek’s other MTV show, “Ridiculousness.”

“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.”

Before he was on television, Boykin served in the U.S. Navy. He also started a clothing line named after his catchphrase, “Do work,” in 2007.

Boykin last tweeted just a day before his death, on Monday. Chanel West Coast, who appeared with Boykin on “Fantasy Factory” and “Ridiculousness,” tweeted after news broke, “RIP Big Black. My heart is crushed. I’ll remember all the times you made me laugh and my prayers go out to your family.”

He is survived by a nine-year-old daughter, Isis.

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