The hip-hop world has lost another legend.
According to TMZ, Biz Markie died Friday at the age of 57, following years of health struggles reportedly related to diabetes. His brother, Diamond Shell, confirmed the tragic news via Facebook, writing: “To the baddest in the beats icon legend … my brother BIZ MARKIE… I’LL miss you more than words ….”
TMZ reports Biz—born Marcel Theo Hall—passed away at around 6:30 Friday night at a Baltimore hospital, as his wife, Tara Hall, stood by his side.
Biz’s health issues gained national attention last month after his team confirmed he had been hospitalized for weeks. At the time, a number of outlets falsely reported Biz had died from coronavirus; However, his representative immediately squashed those rumors and said the rapper was receiving treatment for complications caused by Type II diabetes.
“We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time,” a representative for the rapper told 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.”
Biz is best known for his 1989 track “Just a Friend,” which peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, received a U.S. platinum certification, and has several sampling descendants throughout hip-hop.