The hip hop community just lost a friend.
Biz Markie, the rapper behind the 1989 hit “Just a Friend,” died at age 57 on Friday, July 16, E! News confirms.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce, this evening, with his wife Tara by his side, Hip Hop pioneer Biz Markie peacefully passed away,” his spokesperson told E! News in a statement on July 16.
“We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time,” the statement went on. “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 is survived by his wife of over 15 years, as well as his family members and close friends, “who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter,” per his rep. “We respectfully request privacy for his family as they mourn their loved one.”
A family source told TMZ that Biz died at a hospital in Baltimore, Md., following complications with diabetes.