Jamal Edwards has died at the age of 31

Jamal Edwards at the Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn world premiere in London in January 2020

British entrepreneur and YouTube star Jamal Edwards has died at the age of 31, his company has told the BBC.

He was the founder of SBTV, an online urban music platform which helped launch the careers of artists like Dave, Ed Sheeran and Skepta.

Chart-topper AJ Tracey was one of the first to pay tribute online, tweeting “RIP Jamal Edwards, west London legend status”.

Edwards, born in Luton, was appointed an MBE for services to music in 2014.

He also became an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a youth charity run by the Prince of Wales which helps young people set up their own companies.

He attended the Brit Awards earlier this month and was understood to have performed as a DJ at a gig in north London on Saturday night. No details have been released about his death, other than it happened on Sunday morning.

Tributes to Edwards, a pioneering figure in British rap and grime music, have been paid by many performers in the two genres.
Rapper Lady Leshurr tweeted the news of his death was “heartbreaking” and praised him for helping her career.

“He gave me opportunity after opportunity to showcase my talent from Brum into London. We need to keep his name and brand alive,” she wrote.

In a tweet, the organisers of Mobo Awards said they were “deeply saddened” to learn of Edwards’ death.

It added: “As the founder of @SBTVonline, his groundbreaking work & legacy in British music and culture will live on. Our hearts and thoughts are with his friends and family.”

Birmingham-based rapper Jaykae is an example of one of the acts that SBTV has helped to achieve success. Although he only broke through to mainstream chart success as the featured rapper on Top 20 hit Flowers two years ago, his videos have been featured on SBTV for more than a decade.

Describing Edwards as a “legend”, Jaykae tweeted: “I think I can speak for us all as artists and as supporters of UK grime/rap scene when I say I owe this man so much! Helped me sometimes without even speaking of it.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Twitter that British music and entertainment “has lost one of its brightest stars”.

Rapper Dave, actor and director Adam Deacon and the Voice newspaper, a weekly newspaper that caters for the interests of British-born black people, were among others to post tributes online.

Bocs news Sources: BBC