Jamal Edwards, music entrepreneur and YouTube star, dies at 31 | Ents & Arts News
Music entrepreneur and YouTube star Jamal Edwards has died aged 31.
He was the founder of SBTV, an online urban music platform that helped artists like Dave, Ed Sheeran and Jessie J gain exposure.
Rapper AJ Tracey was among those who paid tribute, saying on Twitter: “RIP Jamal Edwards, West London legend status.”
Born in Luton, Edwards was appointed MBE for services to music in 2014 and was an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, which helps young people start their own businesses.
“His legacy will live on”
The MOBO Awards said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jamal Edwards.
“As the founder of SBTVonline, his groundbreaking work and legacy in British music and culture will live on.
“Our hearts and thoughts go out to his friends and family.”
He attended the Brit Awards earlier this month and is believed to have DJed at a gig in north London on Saturday night.
A representative said he died on Sunday morning, but no further details were released.
The son of Loose Women panelist Brenda Edwards, he grew up on an estate in Acton, west London, according to the Prince’s Trust.
He was a teenager when he started SBTV to upload clips he recorded of his friends performing on the estate, and has since turned the YouTube channel into a multi-million pound online youth broadcaster.
SBTV has made music videos with popular artists like Nicki Minaj, earning over 1.2 million subscribers.
“Anything is possible if you stay dedicated”
When Edwards received his MBE at the age of 24, he wrote on Facebook: “Never in a million years did I think I would receive such an honour.
“For me it’s all about us YOUTH, with so much negativity around us it’s hard sometimes to stay positive and fight for your dreams.”
He said he worked in retail for four years as he launched his YouTube channel and encouraged young people to “invest” in themselves to build better lives.
He added: “I’m thrilled to be honored for my contributions to music, honestly anything is possible if you stay dedicated.
“I was forced to forge my own path, to take an untraditional path, being part of a digital culture rewriting the rules and breaking down the barriers.”
In true entrepreneurial spirit, the introduction to his Facebook page reads, “There are those who look at things and ask why. I would say dream of things that never were and ask why not.”
I did a TV thing with Jamal Edwards years ago to encourage young people to vote, and he was so full of passion, talent and humanity.
What absolutely horrible news. He had such a great cultural impact and that legacy will never fade away. TEAR. https://t.co/m3V1GRrZ88
—Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) February 20, 2022
Edwards “changed the lives of others”
Tributes began to pour in when news of his death broke.
Amelia Dimoldenberg, the creator of Chicken Shop Dates, called him “one of the most generous people I’ve ever met” and “someone who loved music and truly believed in all the joy it brings. “.
“You have shaped culture and changed the lives of others – never to be forgotten,” she said.
Premier League footballer Reece James has said he is “at a loss for words”.