Jamal Edwards, a British music entrepreneur and YouTube star who helped launch the careers of artists including Ed Sheeran, Jessie J and Dave, has died aged 31.
Edwards was the founder of online music platform SBTV, which helped launch the careers of a colorful array of now-famous musicians.
Edwards’ mother, singer and “Loose Women” host Brenda Edwards, confirmed her son’s death in a statement shared on the Loose Women Twitter account early Monday morning.
“It is with deepest sorrow that I confirm the passing of my beautiful son, Jamal Edwards [Sunday] Tomorrow after a sudden illness,” she said.
The loss, she said, left her family “completely devastated.”
“He was the center of our world,” she said, as she thanked the public for her messages of love and support and called for privacy for her family.
“Jamal has been an inspiration to me and so many. Our love for him lives on, his legacy lives on,” she added.
It wasn’t immediately clear what illness Edwards had. A representative for Brenda Edwards referred NBC News to her statement. SBTV did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.
Edwards was an early YouTube user and used the platform to share music and videos he had recorded by up-and-coming artists. He then founded SBTV and became a prominent figure in the music world.
in his last Instagram postshared on February 17th, Edwards wished Sheeran a happy birthday and wrote: “Blessed to have you in my life brother. You know you’ve been buddies for a long time when you stop counting the years!”
While Edward’s work played a crucial role in launching the careers of a number of mainstream artists including Sheeran, he has also been hailed as a key figure in British rap and grime music.
In 2014, Edwards was awarded an MBE in Services to Music. He also became an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity owned by the Prince of Wales that helps young people start their own businesses.
The music entrepreneur attended the Brit Awards earlier this month, according to the BBC.
Tributes poured in on Monday following Edwards’ death.
“We lost a legend today. Jamal Edwards has been an inspiration to so many, supported artists and shaped culture through @SBTVonline,” a statement posted on YouTube’s Twitter account said. “We send our condolences to Jamal’s family and community.”
“Today I was on set when I learned the tragic news that my good friend Jamal Edwards passed away and I’m honestly heartbroken,” said actor Adam Deacon in a tweet. “Jamal was one of the nicest, most down to earth and humble men I’ve met in this industry.
“Rest in peace Jamal Edwards. When you consider how many dreams have been fulfilled and how much potential has been discovered because of your platform and work,” comedian Munya Chawawa said in one tweet. “What an incredible legacy; thank you.”