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Jamal Edwards, YouTube music Star, dies aged 31

Jamal Edwards, British entrepreneur and founder of music platform SBTV, has died at the age of thirty-one. Edwards pursued creative endeavours as a director, author, DJ and designer and he was appointed an MBE for services to music at twenty-four.

Born in Luton in 1990, Edwards grew up in Acton, West London and went on to become a key figure in the British grime scene. Edwards is known for founding the YouTube channel SBTV which helped accelerate the careers of major artists such as Skepta, Dave and Ed Sheeran.

He also became an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity which provides courses and opportunities to help young people pursue a career. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall paid tribute to Edward’s work for The Prince’s Trust via Twitter.

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Edwards attended the Brit Awards earlier this month and is believed to have also performed recently as a DJ at a North London gig. His mother Brenda Edwards, Loose Women presenter and singer, has confirmed that he passed away on Sunday morning “after a sudden illness”, also stating that ‘Our love for him lives on, his legacy lives on’.

It was after he received a video camera as a Christmas present from his parents aged fifteen that Edwards became interested in film-making. He started his YouTube channel SBTV “on a £20 phone” to record the British grime scene while still at school. The platform became a vehicle for exposure for household names including Stormzy, JME, Lady Leshurr, AJ Tracey and Headie One.

A candlelight vigil will be held next to a mural of Edwards on Acton High Street, West London on February 21.

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