PLANO, Texas (AP) " Former MTV reality show star Christopher "Big Black" Boykin has died at the age of 45.

Boykin's ex-wife Shannon Turley tells Entertainment Tonight that Boykin died at a Plano, Texas, hospital Tuesday. Turley says Boykin suffered from congenital heart failure and doctors said he likely needed a transplant. She says Boykin had been in the hospital several times over the past year.

Boykin starred alongside former pro skater Rob Dyrdek in MTV's "Rob and Big" from 2006 to 2008. The network says in a statement that Boykin "was a long time and beloved member of the MTV family and will be greatly missed."

Dyrdek paid tribute to Boykin on Twitter Tuesday, writing that his "heart is broken."


Boykin is survived by his 9-year-old daughter with Turley.