SBTV founder Jamal Edwards, who helped launch the careers of Ed Sheeran, Jessie J and Rita Ora on YouTube, has died aged 31

LONDON – Jamal Edwards, a music entrepreneur best known for founding media platform SBTV, has died at the age of 31.

His mother confirmed on Monday that her “beautiful” and “inspirational” son passed away on Sunday morning from a “sudden illness”.

Brenda Edwards, a guest on the British TV talk show “Loose Women”, expressed her gratitude to her son in a statement shared on the show’s social media accounts, saying she and “devastated” family.

“I can confirm that my beautiful son Jamal Edwards passed away yesterday morning from a sudden illness. Myself, my sister Tanisha and the rest of his family and friends are complete. Totally devastated. He is the center of our world,” the statement read.

She continued: “As we accept his passing, we ask for privacy to grieve this unimaginable loss. I want to thank everyone for the messages of love. their love and support Jamal is an inspiration to myself and so much of our love for him lives on, his legacy lives on.Long live Jamal Edwards MBE, MBA and PHD. “


Edwards was a pioneer in British rap and bush music. Growing up in Acton, west London, he entered the music industry at the age of 15 when his parents gave him a video camera for Christmas.

In 2006, he launched SBTV (SmokeyBarz TV) as an online platform to showcase emerging artists. He was early exposed and helped launch the careers of artists like Dave, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran and Skepta.

The SBTV YouTube channel currently has 1.2 million subscribers and nearly 1 billion views.

“Everybody in my area is an MC and I thought ‘Okay if everyone is MC what can I do other than music?'” he told BBC Radio 1Xtra in 2017.

“I remember sitting there thinking, ‘Why can’t I find these things online?’ and if they’re online it’s just a poor quality version, so I thought ‘Okay, that’s great, I’ll try filming people in my area and uploading it to YouTube.’ And from there it just started to build and grow.”

As his success grew, Edwards turned to philanthropy as an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a youth charity run by the Prince of Wales that helps young people start their own companies. their own. In 2014 – at the age of 24 – he received the MBE (Member of the British Empire) award for his work towards music.


After news of his death, tributes poured in music industry heavyweights, sports stars and political figures.

Singer Rita Ora shared a photo of herself and Edwards on Instagram, along with the caption: ‘My first interview was with you. Jamal, Our endless talks about music and the faith you had in me and so many of us before we even believed in ourselves.

‘I am devastated. No words can express my gratitude for your presence. Thank you for everything you’ve shown me. My heart goes out to @brendaedwardsglobal and the whole family. REST IN PEACE.”

“RIP Jamal Edwards. Thank God you did what he asked you to do. So many of us owe our careers to you,” George the Poet wrote on Twitter. “Thank you for everything.”

Chelsea and England footballer Reece James tweeted his condolences: “Rest in peace, Jamal Edwards. I am speechless.”

Edwards’ last Instagram post was a birthday tribute to his “brother”, Ed Sheeran. Sharing a vintage photo of the couple in Marbella, Spain, he wrote: “Happy Birthday OG, Ed. So happy to have you in my life. ! Keep breaking it and inspiring Inspiration for all of us G!”

The-CNN-Wire & Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. Copyright Registered. SBTV founder Jamal Edwards, who helped launch the careers of Ed Sheeran, Jessie J and Rita Ora on YouTube, has died aged 31

Dais Johnston

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