- Associated Press - Friday, October 14, 2011

MIAMI (AP) - Rapper Rick Ross tweeted Friday afternoon that he will still perform in Memphis, Tenn., later in the evening despite a medical emergency hours earlier that caused the plane he was aboard to return to Florida so he could be taken to the hospital.

“Memphis here I come,” Ross declared on his official Twitter account Friday afternoon.

Ross is scheduled to perform Friday night at the University of Memphis basketball team’s midnight opening practice event. Calls to his publicist have not been returned.

At about 1 p.m., about four hours before his tweet, Ross was on a Delta Air Lines flight from Fort Lauderdale to Memphis when he suffered an unspecified medical problem. The flight, carrying 121 passengers, returned to Fort Lauderdale.

Mike Jachles, a spokesman for Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue, said the flight landed at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and was met by paramedics. They performed what Jachles called “advanced life-support care,” though it did not include CPR.

Jachles could not specify what exact care Ross was given, but said he was stable, breathing, conscious and alert.

The 34-year-old Ross was in a seat when paramedics reached him and he then walked off the plane, Jachles said. He was taken to a terminal area where he was evaluated before being transported to a hospital to be checked out.

Jachles said there was a doctor on the plane who had tried to assist Ross, though he could not say what, if anything, the doctor did.

“Nobody told us, either when we were advised, dispatched or on the scene, no mention was made of CPR being initiated or in progress,” Jachles said.

Soon after going to the hospital, Ross contacted Memphis to tell them he was still coming.

“He called a member of our staff and said not to believe what’s out there and that he’s on his way to perform at Memphis Madness,” said Lamar Chance, a university athletics department spokesman.

The Miami-based gangsta rapper gained fame with his husky voice and lyrics that spotlighted the grimier side of Miami life. He has become one of rap’s most popular figures in recent years.

Ross, whose real name is William Leonard Roberts II, has a new album titled “God Forgives, I Don’t,” due out in December.

The hefty rapper’s hits include “Aston Martin Music,” “B.M.F. (Blowing Money Fast)” and “Hustlin’.”

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