Jamal Edwards rose to prominence by creating the new music platform SBTV and helped launch huge music careers in the UK including Dave and Jesse J.
His manager said that Jamal Edwards died Sunday morning.
Jamal Edwards: After the death of the founder of SBTV, tributes followed after his death…
Who is Jamal Edwards and what is SBTV?
Jamal Edwards was born in Luton in 1990. Throughout his career, he has worked in music and film.
Jamal Edwards was a teenager when he launched SBTV, a youth broadcasting and film production channel, uploading clips of his friends performing at his estate in Acton, west London. At first, the channel focused on grime music, but it soon expanded.
In a conversation with PA after receiving an MBE, he said he founded SBTV, which had over a million subscribers by 2019, to give his friends a platform.
He added: “There was a frustration when I went to school and everyone was talking about ‘how do we get our videos on MTV.’
“YouTube is one year old. I thought, “I have a camera for Christmas, I’m going to film people and post them.”
“Everyone was looking at me like ‘what are you doing, like you can compete with these big corporations’, but I think I was early enough to believe I could make a difference.”
In the same interview, he described his working relationship with musicians as “symbiotic”.
“50% is talent and 50% is platform,” he said. “I try to focus on people who don’t have a platform. Besides the fact that I want to get a really famous artist, I also want to get promising ones.”
The Mobo Awards tweeted: “We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Jamal Edwards. As founder of @SBTVonline, his pioneering work and legacy in British music and culture will live on.
“Our hearts and thoughts are with his friends and family.”
In 2011, SBTV achieved mainstream success when it was featured in a Google Chrome ad, causing the SBTV website to crash due to heavy traffic. That year it became the second most viewed video on Youtube in the UK.
Who is his mother Brenda Edwards?
Tributes to Edwards flooded social media, with many expressing condolences to his mother, Loose Women member Brenda Edwards, who placed fourth on the second series of The X Factor in 2005.
Denise Welch of Loose Women said: “My heart goes out to my friend Brenda. I can’t take it. Jamal Edwards was a wonderful son and brother.”
What caused the death of Jamal Edwards?
She said that he died after a sudden illness.
“It is with deepest heartache that I can confirm that my beautiful son Jamal Edwards passed away yesterday morning after a sudden illness,” Brenda said.
“Me, his sister Tanisha and the rest of his family and friends are completely devastated. He was the center of our world.”
She continued, “As we come to terms with his passing, we ask for privacy to mourn this unimaginable loss. I would like to thank everyone for their messages of love and support.
“Jamal has been an inspiration to me and many others. Our love for him lives on, his legacy lives on. Long live Jamal Edwards, MBE, MBA, PHD.”
Which celebrities have paid tribute to Jamal Edwards?
Music industry heavyweights, sports stars and others poured tributes to SBTV founder Jamal Edwards, who supported the likes of Dave, Ed Sheeran and Jesse J after his death at the age of 31.
Chelsea player Rhys James tweeted: “Rest in peace Jamal Edwards. I was speechless.”
Musician, singer-songwriter, rapper and record producer Elliot Gleave, better known by his stage name Example, said: “I can’t believe you’re gone. 31 year. I can’t find the words right now.”
Comedian Mo Gilligan tweeted: “A truly humble and blessed soul. Your legacy will live on for years to come and you have inspired an entire generation. Take it easy, Jamal Edwards.”
Bafta-winning actor, screenwriter, director and producer Adam Deacon, best known for his lead role in Childhood, said he was “heartbroken” over Edwards’ death.
He said on Twitter: “I was on set today when I heard the tragic news that my good friend Jamal Edwards has passed away and I am truly heartbroken.
“Jamal was one of the nicest, down to earth and humble people I have met in the industry. He always gave me time, even when no one else did.
“He was an inspiration and what he achieved in life was truly remarkable. Thinking of your friends and family during this devastating time. Rest in peace, Jamal Edwards.”
Che Walton Grant, better known by his stage name AJ Tracey, also took to Twitter to express his grief.
The rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer from Ladbroke Grove, west London said: “Rest in peace Jamal Edwards, West London legend status.” One of the most kind, thoughtful and in all respects wonderful people. They left too early.”
Amelia Dimoldenberg, creator of Chicken Shop Dates, also praised Edwards.
Writing on Twitter, she said: “Jamal Edwards, one of the most generous people I have ever met. Someone who loved music and truly believed in all the joy it brings. Do everything possible to bring people together and bring ideas to life.
“You have shaped a culture and changed the lives of others and you will never be forgotten.
“Thank you for everything. You will be greatly missed.”
Additional PA reporting