The West London native died from a “sudden illness,” his mother Brenda Edwards said in a statement.
“It is with the deepest heartache that I confirm that my beautiful son Jamal Edwards passed away yesterday morning after a sudden illness. Myself, his sister Tanisha and the rest of his family and friends are completely devastated. He was the center of our world,” his mother, who hosts the British TV show “Loose Women,” said.
“As we come to terms with his passing we ask for privacy to grieve this unimaginable loss. I would like to thank everyone for their messages of love and support,” she continued. “Jamal was an inspiration to myself and so many. Our love for him lives on, his legacy lives on. Long live Jamal Edwards MBE, MBA and PHD.”
Edwards first gained recognition in 2006 when he launched the online music platform SmokeyBarz TV (SBTV) to showcase up-and-coming artists. The platform helped start the careers of Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Rita Ora, Skepta and more; and its YouTube channel now has 1.2 million subscribers and nearly 1 billion total views.
Speaking to BBC Radia 1Xtra in 2017, Edwards explained why he launched the platform.
“Everyone in my area was an MC and I thought, ‘Alright, if everyone is doing MCing what else can I do that’s around the music?’” he recalled. “I remember I was just sitting there and was thinking, ‘Why can’t I find these online?’ and if they were online it was just bad quality versions, so I thought, ‘Alright cool, I’m going to try and film people in my area and upload it to YouTube.’ And from there it just started building and growing.”
Edwards later turned to philanthropy and became an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a youth charity program run by the Prince of Wales that supports young entrepreneurs starting their own companies. In 2015, a then-24-year-old Edwards received the Member of the British Empire award from Prince William for his work in philanthropy and music.
On social media, artists and fans reacted to his tragic passing.
“My first ever interview was with you,” Rita Ora wrote on Instagram. “Jamal, Our endless talks on music and the belief you had in me and so many of us before we even believed in ourselves. I’m devastated. No words can describe how grateful I am to of been in your presence. Thank you for all you ever showed me. My heart goes out to [Brenda Edwards] and the whole family. RIP.”
See his mother’s statement and more tweets below. Rest in Peace.
After the devastating death of Jamal, our thoughts are with Brenda today. She’s sent us this message: pic.twitter.com/EZWH3b5tcX
— Loose Women (@loosewomen) February 21, 2022
I used to talk to this 15 y/o kid on MSN & we compared notes on cameras in my early Despacam days.
That kid went on to become a giant by the name of Jamal Edwards. He left the door open & 1000s of us ran through it.
Thank you so much Jamal 🕊❤️.
An unquantifiable impact pic.twitter.com/VvBliln05J
— Despa Robinson (@DespaRobinson) February 20, 2022
You can really see how many people Jamal came into contact with & helped. He gave me my first media job fresh out of Uni at SBTV and I’ve seen so many stories like it from presenters to musicians and everyone inbetween. An impactful life ❤️
— Henrie (@HenrieVIII) February 20, 2022
Jamal Put out The Last Whip for me it’s crazy 💔
— TRAPO (@ktrap19) February 20, 2022
I swear to God I didn’t want to do this freestyle. I was deep in the streets & told Jamal I don’t wanna do music. He said I’m the best freestyler he knows & begged me to just do 1 F64. The opportunities that opened up after this I owe him so much. God have mercy on his soul 💔 pic.twitter.com/L6nVKamHtj
— DON STRAPZY *SE DØNS* (@DonStrapzy_) February 20, 2022
Fly high brother. Thank you for everything pic.twitter.com/QhEs4KVwvI
— Alhan Gençay (@alhan) February 20, 2022
RIP Jamal Edwards, west london legend status ✊🏽👑💙
— 🥷🏽 (@ajtracey) February 20, 2022
It’s not fair man. Life ain’t fair. Your legacy will always live on. “Self belief” was your motto and I, like many others, have carried and will continue to carry that through with everything I do.
RIP Jamal pic.twitter.com/l7A9SVJxXo
— ksi (@KSI) February 20, 2022
You took us kids from a council estate to voices in the mainstream and by that helped us provide for all our families.
We’re forever in debt to you.
— hardy caprio (@HardyCaprio) February 20, 2022
Saving one life is something to be proud of. Saving multiple is something to be celebrated for.
Here is a man who saved all of our lives whether you were watching his vids or an artist he gave opportunity.
R.I.P Jamal Edwards.
Those good deeds will always follow you. pic.twitter.com/Gc2eIM10DG
— hardy caprio (@HardyCaprio) February 20, 2022
1/2 Today I was on set when I found out the tragic news that my good friend Jamal Edwards had passed away and I’m honestly heartbroken. Jamal was one of the nicest, most down to earth and humble men I’ve met in this industry. He always gave me time even when no one else would. pic.twitter.com/0ILKrIXtxH
— Adam Deacon (@realadamdeacon) February 20, 2022
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.
On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.
“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.
The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.
Check out our gift guide that highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds in time for Black Friday.
After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.
Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University
On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
In October, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University. The HBCU located in Wilberforce, OH was the first stop on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited HBCU Tour.
Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'
Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.
On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!
Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'
On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!
Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'
On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.
For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!
This is the inspiring story of Karen Washington, a pioneering urban farmer who has been revolutionizing urban spaces by transforming them into vibrant community gardens and educational hubs. Sponsored by State Farm.
Lauren London sparks conversation on how Black parents unintentionally give kids negative outlook on money
At the live taping of “Assets Over Liabilities” at REVOLT WORLD, Lauren London opened up about how witnessing the financial decisions adults made during her childhood fueled her outlook on money.
“Every time I’m in trouble, it’s been Black men that have come to my aid,” Madam DA Fani Willis said at REVOLT WORLD while speaking on the stereotype that they are not dependable or worth dating.
Black media leaders stress the space's importance because we're always antagonists in mainstream's storytelling
“I definitely feel those ‘heavier is the crown’ moments. But I also believe that Black entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to be successful in the future,” Detavio Samuels said at AfroTech.