Rapper Fat Joe was scared into losing weight after seven of his friends died from a heart attack in their thirties.
The hip-hop star, 40, is famed for his portly frame and once tipped the scales at a massive 300 pounds (135 kilograms).
But he stunned fans this week (beg06Jun11) by showing off a slim new figure in the music video for his latest single Drop A Body, after reportedly shedding 100 pounds (45 kilograms) over the last year.
Joe has now spoken out to explain his drastic image overhaul, insisting he went on a crash diet after several of his friends died last year (10), and he revealed his health drive is mainly for the sake of his five-year-old daughter Azaryah.
He tells the New York Daily News, "What's the difference between me and them? Health doesn't discriminate just because I'm famous. I can't leave my daughter behind. I want to be here for her; I don't want to die on her... I'm addicted to food; I love food. It's like a crack addict - he hits rock bottom and he says, 'All right, forget it. I'm not going to get high anymore.'"
But the rapper insists he won't be changing his name to match his new figure: "They're all trying to alter my name, but I can't see myself as anything else. I think I gotta ask Diddy what my new name is."