Music entrepreneur Jamal Edwards passes away at 31

Rest In Peace

Over the weekend, news of the passing of legendary Black British author, broadcaster and DJ, Jamal Edwards took the world by surprise. The family of the late music entrepreneur had shared the news on social media, referring to his passing as a tragic loss due to unforeseen circumstances. He was 31 years at the time of his passing. 


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A post shared by Jamal Edwards MBE, MBA 🇻🇨🇬🇧 (@jamaledwards)

Best known for his invaluable work in setting up SBTV in 2006 at age 16, Edward’s influence on Black UK culture is palpable through all he has worked with. SB.TV or SmokeyBarz (SBTV) is now a leading media platform which champions the music and experiences of young people, particularly in genres such as Hip-Hop and Grime. Over the years, the influence of SBTV has become undeniable, as it has been at the forefront of the careers of many artists and producers including Dave, Ed Sheeran, Stormzy and more.

Before he was the mastermind behind the media outfit, SBTV, Edwards was already building a long-standing career in the music and entertainment scene. In 2013, he became the first Youtuber to release an e-book and interactive game, ‘Self Belief: The Vision’ which swiftly became a best seller and led up to the release of hardcopies. Over the years, he’s lent his hand to a number of ventures aimed at giving Black British creatives and entrepreneurs the chance to get their foot in the door, by providing a platform for them to showcase their talent. Edwards was given an MBE in 2014 for services to music and was an ambassador for Prince Charles’ charity, the Prince’s Trust.

Edwards influence on the culture extends far beyond just SBTV. He’s also been instrumental in merging sounds from his home city, London with emerging acts from around the African continent. Recently, in an interview with Elton John on his Apple music show “Elton John’s Rocket Hour’, British singer, songwriter and performer Ed Sheeran stated that the Jamal Edwards had sent him Fireboy’s hit single “Peru” and mentioned that Fireboy would love to have a guest verse from him on it.


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A post shared by Jamal Edwards MBE, MBA 🇻🇨🇬🇧 (@jamaledwards)

Tributes from have been paid in by celebrities and other public figures such as Dave, AJ Tracey, George The Poet and many more.

May his soul rest in peace.

Here are some of the tributes:

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