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British Music Trailblazer Jamal Edwards Dead At 31

British Music Trailblazer Jamal Edwards Dead At 31

Jamal Edwards, an icon in the British music industry and member of the British Empire (MBE), has sadly died at just 31 years old on Sunday. Edwards was a multifaceted talent who grew famous as a YouTube pioneer, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. His mother Brenda Edwards announced the tragic news via a statement shared to her daytime talk show Loose Women. In the emotional message, Brenda noted that her son died after contracting a “sudden illness,” explaining:

“It is with the deepest heartache that I confirm that my beautiful son Jamal Edwards passed away yesterday morning after a sudden illness. Myself, his sister Tanisha and the rest of his family and friends are completely devastated. He was the center of our world.”

So sad.

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The 52-year-old continued:

“As we come to terms with his passing we ask for privacy to grieve this unimaginable loss. I would like to thank everyone for their messages of love and support. Jamal was an inspiration to myself and so many. Our love for him lives on, his legacy lives on. Long live Jamal Edwards MBE, MBA and PHD.”

The West London-born artist had more than 1 million followers and over a billion views on YouTube. Back in 2006, he founded SmokeyBarz TV (SBTV) which would go on to help launch the careers of Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Rita Ora, Skepta, and many others. When discussing his desire to create the channel with BBC Radio 1Xtra in 2017, Jamal mused:

“Everyone in my area was an MC and I thought ‘Alright if everyone is doing MCing what else can I do that’s around the music?’ I remember I was just sitting there and was thinking, ‘Why can’t I find these online?’ and if they were online it was just bad-quality versions, so I thought ‘Alright, cool, I’m going to try and film people in my area and upload it to YouTube’ — and from there it just started building and growing.”

His very last social media post was uploaded on Friday in honor of Sheeran’s birthday, in which he reflected:

“Happy Birthday to the OG, Ed. Blessed to have you in my life brother. You know you’ve been mates a long time when you lose count on the years! Keep smashing it & inspiring us all G!”

Whoa. What a special last message for the songwriter to receive…

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Edwards was also considered a pioneer in the “grime” music scene in the UK and has been credited for changing the British music landscape for the better. The entrepreneur was an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity run by Prince Charles that helps young adults launch companies, according to CNN. Prince William even acknowledged the then 24-year-old for his philanthropic work during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2015. He was such an impressive and accomplished man!

Many celebrities and friends have taken to social media to mourn his death, including Ora who wrote on Instagram:

“My first ever interview was with you. Jamal, Our endless talks on music and the belief you had in me and so many of us before we even believed in ourselves. I’m devastated. No words can describe how grateful I am to of been in your presence. Thank you for all you ever showed me. My heart goes out to @brendaedwardsglobal and the whole family. RIP”

Take a look at other tributes (below).

The hosts of Loose Women also paid tribute to their co-star’s late child in a moving segment on Monday.

We’re thinking of Brenda and all Jamal’s family and friends in this devastating time. R.I.P.

[Image via Jamal Edwards/Instagram]

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Feb 21, 2022 07:34am PDT