Biz Markie, the rapper behind ‘Just a Friend,’ has died at the age of 57.
Biz Markie, best known for his single “Just A Friend,” has died at the age of 57 following a lengthy health battle.
Biz Markie, the legendary rapper, died at the age of 57 due to complications from diabetes.
The star, best known for his 1989 hit Just A Friend, had been battling illness for more than a year.
Biz Markie died at 6.25 p.m. on Friday in a hospital in Baltimore, the United States, according to TMZ.
When he died, the hip hop artist was holding the hand of his wife Tara Hall.
According to his representative, Jenni Izumi, the rapper will be remembered as a legend.
“We are extremely appreciative of the numerous calls and prayers of support we have received during this trying time. Biz created an artistic legacy that will be forever cherished by his industry peers and the countless fans whose lives he touched through music over the course of 35 years,” Izumi said.
“He is survived by his wife, numerous family members, and close friends who will miss his infectious personality, constant jokes, and frequent banter.”
Markie was hospitalized in April 2020 due to Type 2 diabetes complications and later suffered a stroke.
Diamond Shell, the rapper’s brother, paid tribute to Markie on Facebook.
“To the baddest in the beats icon legend… my brother BIZ MARKIE… I’LL miss you beyond words….,” he wrote.
In June, false rumours circulated that Biz Markie had died, and Izumi was forced to put an end to the hearsay.
“Biz is still receiving medical care and is surrounded by professionals who are working diligently to provide the best care possible,” Izumi told Rolling Stone at the time.
After news of his death broke Friday evening, tributes poured in from across the music industry and beyond.
“This one hurts a lot… RIP, my Aries brother… ahhh man @BizMarkie, I’m going to miss you so much.. it hurts so bad. QTip, a Queens rapper, tweeted, “My FRIEND.”
“Another Rap legend has passed away. Mr. Biz Markie was an American rapper, singer, DJ, record producer, actor, comedian, and writer. He is perhaps best remembered for his 1989 single “Just a Friend”! To a large number of us, he was more than a Friend. R.I.P. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” Parliament-Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins wrote.
“Rest In Peace, Your Majesty. This man brought tears to my eyes, made me laugh, and filled me with joy. You will be greatly missed!! The unmatched #bizmarkie Not just a friend, but an inspirational soul,” Tamron Hall, a television host, stated.
Marcel Theo Hall was born in Harlem and raised on Long Island. He was affectionately dubbed “The Clown Prince of Hip Hop” for his lighthearted and irreverent musical style and persona.
He became well-known for his beat boxing and rhyming abilities after breaking into the music industry in 1985 as a beat boxer for Roxanne Shante of the Juice Crew.
The artist released five full-length albums, and the earworm success of his platinum-certified single about an unavailable romantic interest continues to resonate with international audiences across generational lines.
His song Just a Friend received an MTV Music Award nomination for best video and peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard charts, a position that does not do justice to the song’s iconic status and enduring appeal.
Markie was signed to Cold Chillin Records, Warner Bros, Tommy Boy Music, and Warner Records at various points in his career.
He was also well-known for his film and television work, which included Men in Black II and Nick Jr.’s children’s show Yo Gabba Gabba.
Markie was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2011 and revealed he had lost 140 pounds in an attempt to overcome his illnesses and avoid possible amputations a few years later.
In 2014, he told ABC News, “I desired to live.” “Because I am required to be a diabetic, failing to make the changes would exacerbate the diabetes. I’m attempting to wean myself off [the Diabetes medications]. The only way to do so is to lose weight. I’ve already discontinued half of my medications; all that remains is to discontinue the remainder.”
“He leaves a wife, numerous family members, and close friends who will miss his infectious personality, constant jokes, and frequent banter,” Izumi said.