“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,” his rep Jenni Izumi said in a statement according to the article. “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,” Izumi added in the article. “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.”
Markie’s cause of death was not released but the rapper dealt in recent years with health problems including a decade-long battle with Type 2 diabetes, according to the article. In April 2020, he was hospitalized because of complications connected to the disease; he also had a stroke after going into a diabetic coma per the article.
With his five albums — most popular 1988’s Goin’ Off and 1989’s The Biz Never Sleeps — the producer-MC, (legally named) Marcel Hall, was ahead of his time with his skills and was given the nickname the “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop.”
He was born in Harlem and raised in Long Island, and was a member of the Juice Crew.
“Usually when I make a record I know what the potential is going to be, but I didn’t know that ‘Just a Friend’ was going to be that big,” Markie said in 2013 according to the article. “‘Just a Friend’ opened a world up where I never knew the difference between being a pop star and a regular rap star. It was crazy.”
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