By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices
A spokesman for Kanye West has confirmed that his mother, Dr. Donda West, died Saturday night in Los Angeles.
A cause of death has not been immediately released to the media.
Dr. West, the former chairwoman of Chicago State University's English department, recently published the book 'Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Star.'
She served as chief executive of West Brands LLC, the parent company of the hip-hop superstar's business enterprises.
She also chaired the non-profit organization Kanye West Foundation.
In addition to discussing Kanye's rise to fame, Dr. West discussed the early years of her son's life as well as the years leading up to his birth in the tome.
The majority of the second half of the book explores her feelings on issues like homophobia, community service, and politics through the lens of her multiple Grammy Award winning son's actions.
"Much of Kanye's spirit, brashness and confidence came directly from his mother," Hunter told The BV Newswire upon hearing the news of Dr. West's demise. "She taught him how to be his own person by example."
"Her own story is incredible, her own talents, vast (in addition to having a PhD, she was a poet, an actress and an activist)," the Hunter College professor and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist added. "I only got to know her a short time ago, but what I know is that she was a woman who lived her life with an enviable freedom and above all else, loved her son and her family dearly."
"This news is heartbreaking," she added. "Dr. Donda West will be surely missed!"
-- Check out Dr. Donda West on the More Than Words podcast.
-- Dr. Donda West and Kanye featured in the Mother's Day Photo Gallery.
UPDATE: According to the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), Dr. West's publicist Patricia Green said she passed away "as the result of complications from a cosmetic surgical procedure." Meanwhile, TMZ has famed black plastic surgeon Dr. Jan Adams on record stating that he performed cosmetic surgery on Dr. West shortly before she died.
She was 58 years old.