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Legendary Rapper Biz Markie Dead at 57

The Biz is finally sleeping.

Biz Markie 
Legendary rapper, singer, DJ, actor, comedian, and writer Biz Markie died Friday in Baltimore at the age of 57 following what had been reported to be a long battle with complications from diabetes. No official cause of death was provided in the official statement sent out to several media outlets by his representative Jenni Izumi. “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,” Izumi 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. We respectfully request privacy for his family as they mourn their loved one.” 

Born Marcel Theo Hall, the Harlem native was perhaps best known for "Just a Friend" a single off his second album, "The Biz Never Sleeps" that reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1989, and earned a place in pop-culture history with its combination of narrative-rapping and outlandish singing propelling it to cult-favorite popularity that persists today.

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