Entertainer Biz Markie died Friday at the young age of 57, USA Today reported.
Reports first emerged earlier this month indicating that Markie had been dealing with serious health problems, and some rumored that he’d died. While those reports turned out false, the latest development is unfortunately true.
The news of Markie’s passing was confirmed by his manager, Jenni Izumi.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce, this evening, with his wife Tara by his side, Hip Hop pioneer Biz Markie peacefully passed away,” Izumi wrote in a statement, according to USA Today. “We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time.”
Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years. He leaves behind a wife, many family members, and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes, and frequent banter.
Izumi did not reveal the cause of Markie’s death.
The star was known to have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and was reportedly hospitalized multiple times in 2020 over complications from the disease.
Born Marcel Theo Hall, Markie’s career in entertainment spanned more than three decades. He started off in the 1980s as a rapper, and he went on to do some producing and even acting.
He is best known for the platinum-selling record, “Just a Friend,” USA Today reports.
He also worked as a voice actor in programs like Kung Faux and SpongeBob SquarePants, USA Today said. He appeared on-screen in projects including Sharknado 2: The Second One.
A number of entertainers have posted tributes to Markie on social media since news broke of his passing. “Biz built me man,” drummer Questlove wrote in an Instagram post shared by Mediaite. “He taught me ALOT [sic]. [I’m] using ALL the education he taught me. We will miss him. But he will be here forever. Love you Biz.”
Meanwhile, Markie’s brother, known by his stage name Diamond Shell, wrote, “To the baddest in the beats icon legend… [M]y brother BIZ MARKIE… I’LL miss you more than words.”