Jamal Edwards, a music entrepreneur, was best known for founding SBTV, has died at the age of 31.
The platform helped launch the careers of numerous international stars from the UK, including Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, and Stormzy.
His manager revealed his death yesterday morning, but the cause was not revealed until his mother released a statement.
Brenda Edwards, a panelist on the British TV talk show Loose Women, paid an emotional tribute to her son in a statement she sent to the series.
Jamal Edwards died from a ‘sudden illness’
The late star’s mother’s statement suggests the celebrated entrepreneur’s death was unexpected.
“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,” the statement read.
She 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.”
Jamal was 15 when he was gifted a video camera for Christmas and began filming his friends rapping on the council estate he grew up on West London.
In 2006, he set up SBTV on YouTube, which stands for his rap moniker SmokeyBarz.
He captured amateur footage of emerging UK grime and rap artists, uploading it on YouTube, also a new platform at the time.
Edwards expanded the brand to include acoustic artists, such as Ed Sheeran, giving the British international singer a platform long before achieving worldwide fame.
Tributes pour in for Jamal Edwards
Jamal founded a charity JE Delve, which runs youth clubs in London, helping young people learn and find work.
He became an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity headed by the Prince of Wales, and in 2014 he was awarded an MBE for his services to music.
The beloved entrepreneur has received numerous tributes as many of the artists he inspired and helped launch their careers paid tribute.
“Thank you for everything🙏🏿❤️ words can’t explain,” Dave, an award-winning British rapper, wrote alongside a photo of the late Edwards.
Football club Chelsea mourned the SBTV founder’s death on Twitter, calling him an “Inspiration.”
Another tribute celebrates the late 31-year-old’s achievement in giving a platform to many artists who came from poor backgrounds.
Another tribute shows a video of Edwards getting his flowers for his remarkable career.
Jamal Edwards was very well-loved, hugely respected, and talented leaving a great legacy in the British and international music scene.