By Rich McKay
ATLANTA (Reuters) - Atlanta rapper Carlos Walker, who went by the stage name Shawty Lo, died early on Wednesday in a fiery car crash near his hometown, local media reported. He was 40.
Walker, a founding member of the Southern rap group D4L and founder of D4L Records, was best known for his single, “Dey Know."
A message posted on Shawty Lo's Twitter account, apparently written by the rapper’s manager and brother, confirmed the death. “My brother has passed, he is no longer here but his spirit, his kind heart and his music will live on,” it said.
Fulton County Police did not immediately return calls for comment.
Tributes poured in from fans and fellow rappers.
"Prayers to his family and friends. ATown Legend," wrote American disc jockey DJ Drama.
"Legends never die ... Shawty Lo Forever," hip-hop recording artist Future wrote.
Walker was traveling in a white Audi on an interstate highway in South Fulton County near Atlanta about 2:20 a.m. when the vehicle crashed through a guard rail, hit several trees and caught fire, the Atlanta Journal Constitution? reported.
Two women in the vehicle were injured and taken to a nearby hospital, the newspaper reported. It was not clear who was driving or what had led to the collision.
(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by James Dalgleish)