HomeArts & EntertainmentMusicSBTV founder Jamal Edwards has died aged 31

SBTV founder Jamal Edwards has died aged 31

Jamal Edwards, the British entrepreneur who founded the pioneering online music platform SBTV, has died at the age of 31.

The media mogul gained fame as the chief executive of SBTV, which helped to launch the careers of chart-topping artists including Ed Sheeran, Stormzy and Jessie J.

As a 15-year-old, Mr Edwards launched his platform recording his friends performing on the estate where he lived in Acton, west London, before catapulting to success. He was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to music.

Mr Edwards’ manager confirmed that he died on Sunday morning.

There has been an outpouring of social media tributes to the young digital giant with many expressing their condolences to his mother, the Loose Women panellist Brenda Edwards, who finished fourth in the second series of the X Factor in 2005.

Che Wolton Grant, better known by his stage name AJ Tracey, has paid tribute on Sunday evening.

Taking to Twitter, the rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer from Ladbroke Grove, west London, said: “RIP Jamal Edwards, West London legend status.”

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales sits on a sofa with Jamal Edwards during a live session at the launch of the Prince’s Trust Summer Sessions at the Princes’s Trust in Historic Chatham Dockyard on July 29, 2013 in Chatham, United Kingdom.

(Getty Images)

Awards organisation Mobo said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Jamal Edwards passing. As the founder of @SBTVonline, his groundbreaking work and legacy in British music and culture will live on.

“Our hearts and thoughts are with his friends and family.”

Bafta-winning actor writer, director, and producer Adam Deacon, known for his leading role in Kidulthood, said he was “heartbroken” about Mr Edwards’ death.

“Today I was on set when I found out the tragic news that my good friend Jamal Edwards had passed away and I’m honestly heartbroken,” He wrote on Twitter.

“Jamal was one of the nicest, most down to earth and humble men I’ve met in this industry. He always gave me time even when no one else would.

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“He was an inspiration and what he achieved in life was truly remarkable. Thinking of his friends and family at this devastating time. RIP Jamal Edwards.”

Zarah Sultana, Labour’s MP for Coventry, said: “The impact SBTV had on the UK’s music scene and British culture is immeasurable. Rest in peace, Jamal Edwards. My thoughts are with everyone who knew and loved him.”

Mr Edwards’ channel, named after his rap name SmokeyBarz, platformed music from artists including Stormzy, Krept & Konan and Rita Ora, to name a few.

Speaking to The Independent as part of our campaign to help people return to their state schools in 2013, Mr Edwards’ said: “It’s important to understand that providing a service is what a good business does. Young entrepreneurs need to find a target market.

“I knew my service was to provide grime and rap videos to my friends. Whatever a person wants to do, it’s important to do it.”

“The best thing about my job is that every morning when I wake up I realise I’m in charge of my fate, which is such an empowering feeling for a young man in Britain today,” he continued.

“It’s overwhelming sometimes, I get anxiety. I’ve actually been told to go to Yoga! It’s all about staying focussed.”

Mr Edwards was born in Luton in 1990 and grew up in Acton, west London.

Having studied at Ealing College, he received a BTec diploma in media moving image and worked at men’s retailer Topman while developing his music platform.

After soaring to stardom, Mr Edwards turned his hand to multiple philanthropic and social endeavours, including in mental health awareness and the funding of youth centres.

In 2021, he established Jamal Edwards Delve – grassroots charity providing young people in London with employment, training and networking opportunities.

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