Legendary Rapper Biz Markie has passed away at 57.
A cause of death has not yet been revealed. Markie’s rep Jenni Izumi confirmed the sad news in a statement.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce, [Friday] evening, with his wife Tara by his side, hip hop pioneer Biz Markie peacefully passed away,” Izumi said. “We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time.
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“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,” the statement continued.
“He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter. We respectfully request privacy for his family as they mourn their loved one.”
TMZ was the first to report the news of Markie’s passing.
Markie rose to fame in the mid 1980s in New York. Earning the moniker “the Clown Prince of Hip-Hop”, Markie saw his first major success in 1989 with the release of his hit single, “Just a Friend”, which ultimately went platinum. The song made it to No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Markie has long battled health complications related to his Type 2 diabetes. He was hospitalized in April 2020 and reportedly suffered a stroke later that year. It’s unclear what connection, if any, his underlying health problems may have had to his sudden passing.