Jamal Edwards’ cause of death disclosed by mum Brenda as she calls SBTV founder ‘the centre of our world’

Music industry leader died of a ‘sudden illness’

Isobel Lewis
Monday 21 February 2022 08:50 GMT
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'He was a pioneering figure in Black British culture': GMB pays tribute to Jamal Edwards
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Music industry entrepreneur Jamal Edwards died of a “sudden illness”, his mother Brenda has announced.

The SBTV founder, who helped launch the careers of artists including Ed Sheeran, Stormzy, Jessie J and Dave, died on Sunday (20 February) aged 31.

In a message shared on Good Morning Britain on Monday (21 February), his mother Brenda said that she and her family were “completely devastated” by Jamal’s death.

“It is with the deepest heartache that I can confirm that my beautiful son Jamal Edwards passed away yesterday morning after a sudden illness,” she said.

“Myself, his sister Tanisha and the rest of his family and friends are completely devastated. He was the centre of our world.”

Loose Women panellist Brenda asked that the family be given privacy “to grieve this unimaginable loss”, adding: “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, PHD.”

The way in which Jamal’s death was first announced on social media has since been criticised by Loose Women co-star Charlene White, who said she spent the evening with Brenda after discovering Jamal had died.

On GMB, correspondent Noel Phillips called Jamal “a pioneering figure in Black British culture and music in particular and hip hop, a trailblazer in fact”.

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Jamal with Prince Charles in 2013

Jamal’s death shocked the music world, with Dua Lipa, AJ Tracey and Mo Gilligan all paying tribute.

Jamal founded SBTV – named after his rap moniker SmokeyBarz – in 2006 when he was just 15. The YouTube channel provided an essential platform for grime artists, subsequently helping to propel the genre into the mainstream.

He was awarded an MBE in the 2014 New Year’s honours.

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