Biz Markie cause of death: 'Just a Friend' rapper dies at 57
Rapper Biz Markie died on Friday after months of health issues. He was 57.
“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. We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time," his rep Jenni Izumi said in a statement.
“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. We respectfully request privacy for his family as they mourn their loved one," Izumi added.
Born Marcel Theo Hall on April 8, 1964, Markie spent his childhood in Long Island. His debut album, 1988’s ‘Goin’ Off’ was a success, peaking at No. 90 on the Billboard 200.
Markie became a household name following the success of self-penned 'The Biz Never Sleeps', featuring “Just a Friend."
While Markie's cause of death was not known, he reportedly struggled with health issues in recent years. He reportedly had type 2 diabetes and in April last year, he was hospitalized due to complications related to the disease. He later suffered a stroke after going into a diabetic coma. His condition continued to deteriorate, leading to premature reports of his death in June this year.
Following his death, several people took to Twitter to offer condolences.
“Never forget Biz Markie had a beat boxing segment on Yo Gabba Gabba called “Biz’s Beat of the Day” and went out on tour. There are thousands of kids who first loved music because of him. Thank you, Biz,” wrote one person.
“Travel safe OG. Rest in Power to the legend Biz Markie. Love & Respect,” another user commented.