‘Just a Friend’ Rapper Dies at 57

Biz Markie, the rapper finest recognized for the hit music “Just a Friend,” died on Friday, July 16. He was 57.

“We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time,” a rep for the rapper instructed TMZ on Friday. “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. He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter.”

Rapper Biz Markie Dead 57

Biz Markie.
Jim Smeal/Shutterstock

The outlet reported that the musician’s dying adopted problems from diabetes, which he suffered from for greater than a yr. He died in a hospital in Baltimore together with his spouse, Tara Hall, by his aspect.

Markie’s rep denied rumors of his dying earlier this month. “The news of Biz Markie’s passing is not true. Biz is still under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best healthcare possible,” Jenni Izumi mentioned in a assertion on July 1. “At this time, we ask for your continued thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Markie (born Marcel Theo Hall) was beforehand hospitalized in 2020 as a consequence of his sort 2 diabetes. “He is receiving the best care from an amazing team of medical professionals and we remain positive about the outcome,” his rep mentioned at the time.

The singer made headlines in November 2014 after he misplaced 140 kilos three years after being recognized with diabetes. “I wanted to live,” he defined to ABC News after his transformation. “Since I have to be a diabetic, if I didn’t make the changes, it was going to make the diabetes worse. I’m trying to get off [the diabetes medication]. The way you gotta do it is lose the weight. I’m off half my meds, I just got to get off the rest.”

Rapper Biz Markie Dead 57

Biz Markie performs at Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE! Music Is Awesome! at the Shrine Auditorium on November 22, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
John Shearer/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Markie famous at the time that he ate natural meals to take care of his new physique, including that he deliberate to lose extra weight the next yr. “When I used to be on stage, I used to be out of breath. I couldn’t walk that far,” he mentioned. “Now, I got so much energy.”

The DJ launched his debut album, Goin’ Off, in 1988. “Just a Friend” dropped in 1989 and went on to turn out to be a Top 40 hit.

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