Rapper Biz Markie dies at 57, tributes pour in
- American rapper Biz Markie died on Friday at the age of 57
- He had dealt with health issues in recent years related to Type 2 diabetes
- New York-born Biz Markie's debut album, 1988’s ‘Goin’ Off’, was a success
American rapper, DJ and producer Biz Markie, who became a household name following the success of his album 'The Biz Never Sleeps', died on Friday at the age of 57.
In a statement on Friday, his rep Jenni Izumi said, “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."
“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.
Though the cause of death was not revealed, the rapper had dealt with health issues in recent years related to Type 2 diabetes. In April last year, he was hospitalised following complications related to the disease and later that year, he suffered a stroke after going into a diabetic coma.
New York-born Biz Markie's debut album, 1988’s ‘Goin’ Off’, was a success, making it to the Billboard 200. He went on to release several song, 'Pickin' Boogers' and 'Chinese Food,' and earned the nickname the 'Clown Prince of Hip-Hop.'
Following his death, several of his friends and fans took to social media to offer condolences.
"RIP Biz Markie, foundational hip hop legend - his 1st album Goin Off rocked my pre-pubescent brain. A combination of effortless cool, low brow humour, off the cuff skills… never heard beatboxing before him. I coveted this tracksuit/air safari combo for years. 1 of the greats," Canadian indie pop/dream pop band Young Galaxy tweeted.
"Biz Markie turned hip hop on its head and brought that New York sense of humor to audiences across the world. We’re mourning a true son of Harlem tonight," New York mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted.