Jamal Edwards, SBTV Founder Who Championed Grime, Dies at 31

Jamal Edwards—the British entrepreneur, DJ, and founder of SBTV who was awarded an MBE in 2014 for his services to music—has died, BBC News reports. His company confirmed the news to the BBC. His cause of death is unknown. He was 31.

Edwards, born in Luton and raised in Acton, began SBTV as a YouTube channel when he was a teenager. It became an influential space in the world of grime, giving young and established artists alike a space to share their craft. One trademark series he launched was F64, which asked rappers to deliver 64 bars of new lyrics. An acoustic spin-off of that format, A64, helped launch the career of Ed Sheeran. Dave, Stormzy, Jessie J, Skepta, Wiley, and countless others were featured on SBTV.

Outside of the channel, he was an entrepreneur whose self-help book Self Belief: The Vision: How to Be a Success on Your Own Terms was published in 2013. He was an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, the youth charity run by Charles, Prince of Wales. One of his documentaries featured conversations with musicians in an effort to break the stigma about mental health in the music industry.

Many of Edwards’ peers have paid tribute to him on social media, including Jaykae and Lady Leshurr. “Thank you for everything,” wrote Dave. “Words can’t explain.” Zane Lowe added: “Jamal Edwards was such a generous and inspiring person. Always gracious, he was a true pioneer.”