Dave, AJ Tracey and more pay tribute to Jamal Edwards, who has died aged 31

"This man did so much for grime and UK music"

Influential British author, broadcaster, DJ and founder of SB.TV, Jamal Edwards, has passed away, aged 31.

The news was confirmed by representatives of Edwards’ media company to the BBC earlier this evening (February 20) following reports on social media that the entrepreneur died unexpectedly on Sunday morning.

Edwards attended the BRIT Awards earlier this month and reports say he performed as a DJ at a gig in north London on Saturday night (February 19). Edwards’ mother Brenda later revealed his cause of death and paid tribute to her son as “the centre of our world”.


NME has reached out to representatives of Edwards for comment.

Tributes have poured in for Edwards on social media, including ones from Dave, George The Poet and AJ Tracey.

Tracey wrote: “RIP Jamal Edwards, West London legend status”, while Dave added: “Thank you for everything”.

The organisers of the MOBO Awards said they were “deeply saddened” by news of Edwards’ death.

They continued: “As the founder of @SBTVonline, his groundbreaking work & legacy in British music and culture will live on. Our hearts and thoughts are with his friends and family.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also joined in the tributes, writing on Twitter that the British music and entertainment scene had “has lost one of its brightest stars”.


You can read some of the many tributes to Edwards here:

In 2014, Edwards received an MBE in the Queens New Year’s Honours List. At 24, he was one of the youngest people to ever receive the honour.

While still a teenager, Edwards started SB.TV in 2006 to document the UK grime scene. The YouTube channel grew into a multimillion-pound online youth broadcaster.

The channel also had some of the first, exclusive performances from the likes of Jake Bugg, Banks and Clean Bandit. It also helped to launch the careers of artists like Dave, Ed Sheeran, Jessie J and many more.

Writing about receiving his MBE on Facebook in 2014, Edwards – who was also an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust – commented: “I’m honoured to be one of the youngest people awarded with an MBE on this years New Honours list.

“Never in a million years did I ever think I would receive such an accolade. For me this is about us the YOUTH, with so much negativity around us it’s hard sometimes to stay positive and fight for your dreams.”

He added: “I am over the moon to be honoured for my contributions to music, honestly people anything is possible if you stay dedicated. I was forced to carve my own path, taking an untraditional route, part of a digital culture rewriting the rules & breaking down barriers.

“Growing up I’ve always had a passion for music, I’m privileged to be able to work with singers, rappers & MCs & talented people in general and be able to provide a platform for them to be heard.”

Edwards is the son of Loose Women panellist Brenda Edwards and grew up on a council estate in Acton, West London. He also founded JE Delve, a grassroots charity that delivers programmes and activities for young people in the area.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow.

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