Jamal Edwards: Who is Jamal Edwards, cause of death, how did he launch careers of Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora, who is Brenda Edwards, and what is SBTV
Tributes have been pouring in to SBTV founder Jamal Edwards and condolences to his mother, fellow panellist Brenda, following his sudden death aged 31.
The music entrepreneur gained fame after setting up the new music platform in 2006, and was credited with helping to launch a string of UK music acts to stardom, including Ed Sheeran, Dave and Jessie J.
His death was announced online on Sunday and later confirmed by his management.
Who is Jamal Edwards and what is SBTV?
Born in Luton in 1990, Jamal Edwards worked in music and film throughout his career.
Jamal Edwards was a teenager when he launched the youth broadcasting and production film channel SBTV, uploading clips he had recorded of his friends performing on the estate where he lived in Acton, west London. At first the channel was focused on grime music, but he soon branched out.
He was an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust - the charity headed by the Prince Charles, Prince of Wales - and was awarded an MBE for his services to music in 2014.By 2014, he had amassed an estimated fortune of around £8 million and worked with the likes of Jessie J, Emeli Sande and Ed Sheeran.
Speaking to PA after being made an MBE, he said he started SBTV – which by 2019 had more than one million subscribers – to give his friends a platform.
He added: “It was a frustration of going to school and everyone talking about ‘how do we get our videos on MTV’.
“YouTube was like a year old. I was like ‘I’ve got a camera for Christmas, I’m going to start filming people and uploading it’.
“Everyone was looking at me like ‘what are you doing, like you can compete with these major corporations’, but I think I was early enough to believe that I could make a change.”
In the same interview, he described his working relationship with musicians as “symbiotic”.
“50% is the talent and 50% is the platform,” he said. “I try to focus on people that haven’t got the platform. As well as getting a really well-known artist I want to get the up-and-coming ones as well.”
Awards organisation Mobo said on Twitter: “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.”
In 2011, SBTV found mainstream success when it was featured in an advert for Google Chrome, causing the SBTV site to crash with heavy traffic. It went on to become the UK’s second-most popular Youtube video of that year.
Who is his mum Brenda Edwards?
Tributes to Edwards have flooded social media 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. She sang songs including Song of a Preacher Man and Midnight Train to Georgia.
During her time on X Factor, Brenda Edwards was mentored by Sharon Osbourne in the Over-25s category.
Loose Women’s Denise Welch said: “My heart aches for my friend Brenda. I can’t bear it. Jamal Edwards was a wonderful son and brother.”
As well as being a weekly panelist on Loose Women, Brenda Edwards is a presented on BBC One’s long-running programme Songs of Praise.
What was Jamal Edwards cause of death?
In a heartfelt statement shared with Good Morning Britain and reported by The Metro, mum Brenda Edwards said that Jamal’s family are 'completely devastated'.
She said that he died following a sudden illness.
‘It is with the deepest heartache that I can confirm that my beautiful son Jamal Edwards passed away yesterday morning after a sudden illness,’ Brenda said.
‘Myself, his sister Tanisha and the rest of his family and friends are completely devastated. He was the centre of our world.’
She continued: ‘As we come to terms with his passing we ask for privacy to grieve this unimaginable loss. I would like to thank everyone for their messages of love and support.
‘Jamal was an inspiration to myself and so many. Our love for him lives on, his legacy lives on. Long live Jamal Edwards MBE, MBA, PHD.’
Which celebrities have paid tribute to Jamal Edwards?
Tributes have been pouring in from music industry figures, sports stars and other celebrities for the SBTV founder – who championed acts including Dave, Ed Sheeran and Jessie J – after his death at the age of 31.
Chelsea FC player Reece James said on Twitter: “Rest in peace Jamal Edwards. I’m lost for words.”
Elliot Gleave – the musician, singer, songwriter, rapper and record producer better known by his stage name Example – said: “Can’t believe you’re gone. 31 years old. Can’t find the words right now.”
Comedian Mo Gilligan, who hosted the Brit Awards, tweeted: “A truly humble and blessed soul. Your legacy will live on for years & you’ve inspired a whole generation. Rest easy Jamal Edwards.”
Bafta-winning actor writer, director, and producer Adam Deacon, known for his leading role in Kidulthood, said he was “heartbroken” about the death of Jamal Edwards.
He tweeted: “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.
“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.
“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.”
Che Wolton Grant, better known by his stage name AJ Tracey, also took to Twitter to pay tribute.
The rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer from Ladbroke Grove, west London, said: “RIP Jamal Edwards, West London legend status.”DJ, model and presenter Snoochie Shy, AKA Cheyenne Davide, said: “RIP to Jamal Edwards. One of the kindest, thoughtful and all round great person. Gone way too soon.”
Amelia Dimoldenberg, the creator of Chicken Shop Dates, praised Edwards.
She said: “Jamal Edwards, one of the most generous people I have ever met. Someone who loved music and truly believed in all the joy it brings. Going above and beyond to connect people and bring ideas to life.
“You have shaped culture and changed the lives of others – never to be forgotten.
“Thank you for everything. You will be so greatly missed.”
Additional reporting by PA