Just A Friend Rapper Biz Markie Dies At 57

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Iconic American rapper, Biz Markie, who is best known for his 1989 hit single ‘Just A Friend’ died on Friday(July 16) at the age of 57.

Just A Friend received a Platinum Status in 1990

Though representatives for Markie have not made a statement on the cause of his death, it is known that the singer had battled Type 2 Diabetes for years now. His wife of 15 years, Tara Davis, had been with him during his final moments in a hospital in Baltimore where he had been undergoing treatments following health complications.

Markie’s representative,Jenni Izumi, released a statement following his demise, “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.”


The Clown Prince Of Rap

Biz Markie, whose real name is Marcel Theo Hall had initially gained recognition as a beatboxer. He went on to release 5 studio albums but it was his 1989 hit single ‘Just A Friend’ that proved to be the turning point in his career and plunged him into mainstream music. Though he had intended the track to be a serious depiction of his dating problems, his fans saw it from a cheekier perspective which led to him being dubbed as ‘The Clown Prince of Rap’. . Aside from his music career, he has also earned several cameos in TV and films, including “Men in Black II,” “Empire” and “Black-ish.”

“He leaves behind a wife, many family members, and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes, and frequent banter,” his representative said in the statement.

Rest In Peace Biz.