7:30 AM PST -- Heller died after suffering some sort of medical emergency while driving in Ventura County Friday just before noon. We're told he slammed into a mini-van and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. It's unclear if he died from the medical emergency, the collision, or both.
Jerry Heller, the groundbreaking/controversial manager who brought Eazy-E and N.W.A. to fame and helped change the landscape of music is dead.
Heller was embroiled in controversy for decades, right up until his death Friday. He was accused of fleecing members of N.W.A. Some members, including Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, accused him of outright stealing.
Heller and Eazy-E founded Ruthless Records, which churned out a number of rap stars ... until Suge Knight and Death Row Records stole the big ones.
Heller filed a $110 million defamation lawsuit against producers of "Straight Outta Compton" for the way he was portrayed. He vowed on "TMZ Live" to continue that fight. The case was pending at the time of his death.
Heller also worked with huge rock and soul acts in the '60s and '70s including ... Elton John, Pink Floyd, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, The Who and Ike & Tina Turner.