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‘Just A Friend’ singer Biz Markie dies at 57

Photo: Instagram

New York rapper, actor, and comedian Biz Markie has died at the age of fifty-seven after a series of complications from diabetes that he’s been fighting for more than a year.

Photo: Instagram

Markie’s representative Jenni Izumi confirmed that he passed away on Friday, July 16, 2021, with his wife by his side; while thanking those who reached out during this sad moment for the family.

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. He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter.

According to reports, the late rapper was hospitalized last summer for an ailment his representative said was related to his Type 2 Diabetes. Markie’s condition remained a mystery until Big Daddy Kane told show hosts of The Breakfast Club in April, that the rapper was doing better, and in a physical rehab facility. His cause of death has not been confirmed.

Biz Markie was born on April 8, 1964, in Harlem. He was a singer, rapper, DJ, record producer, comedian, and writer. He became an international music sensation in 1989, when his hit single ‘Just A Friend’ became a Top 40 hit in multiple countries and went platinum. Biz was also an actor; providing voice work for TV shows including Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants and starring in Men In Black 2.


Written by Ralph Okobz

I'm GRUNGECAKE’s Global Music Editor. Connect with me on Instagram and Twitter.