8:32 AM PDT, July 17, 2021
Legendary rapper, DJ, comedian, beatboxer, writer, and record producer Biz Markie has passed away. TMZ reports that Biz died on Friday night with his wife by his side.
“A family source tells us Biz passed away in a Baltimore hospital at 6:25 PM Friday,” the outlet wrote.
“We’re told his wife, Tara Hall, held his hand as he took his last breath … and the nursing staff was there to support his family, telling them how strong he was through his fight.”
In addition, a rep for the rapper also made a statement to TMZ.
They said, “We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time. Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years. He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter.”
The New York Times confirmed this information, saying that his manager, Jenni Izumi, confirmed his death but did not specify how or where he died.
Biz Markie, whose real name is Marcel Theo Hall, had been battling Type II diabetes for some time and was hospitalized last year due to the illness.
He was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011, and in 2014, he told ABC News that he’d lost around 140 pounds while trying to focus on his health.
Biz Markie was arguably best known for his hit song, “Just A Friend.” The song went platinum and reached No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart and No. 9 on the all-genre Hot 100, according to The New York Times.
Other notable songs include “Vapors,” “Make the Music With Your Mouth Biz,” and “This Is Something for the Radio.”
Not only did Bix make music, but he appeared in several movies and television shows, including “Black-ish,” “Yo Gabba Gabba!” and “Men in Black II.”
Biz Markie was 57 at the time of death and is survived by his wife, Tara.