American rapper Biz Markie, famous for the hit song "Just A Friend," died at 57 following a series of complications from a decade-long battle with diabetes.
These are sad times for the family of rapper and renowned "Clown Prince of Hip Hop," Biz Markie, after his death at 57 on Friday, July 16, 2021.
A family source told TMZ that Markie died in a Baltimore hospital at about 6:25 PM. He died beside his wife, Tara Hall, who held his hand as he breathed his last.
Rapper Biz Markie performs onstage during BACARDI's Big Game Party at Surfcomber Hotel on February 01, 2020. | Photo: Getty Images
The nursing staff were also around to support the late rapper's family and told them how brave Markie was while fighting for his life. A representative for Biz also expressed gratitude for the multiple calls and supportive prayers they received during the challenging period.
The rep said Markie created a legacy of artistry that his industry peers and beloved fans whose lives he impacted through music would celebrate. The rep concluded:
"He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter."
Although the exact cause of Markie's demise was not revealed, he recently struggled with health problems related to his decade-long battle with Type 2 diabetes.
In April 2020, Markie was admitted to the hospital following complications of the disease. Unfortunately, he also suffered a stroke later in the year. Despite his rehabilitation, the rapper's condition was on the decline, leading to rumors of his death in June.
In 2018, she shared a picture of them cuddling after she saw him kick off Steve Harvey's Sand and Soul Weekend extravaganza.
Markie's manager, Jenni Izumi, quashed those rumors by revealing he was receiving medical care at the hands of professionals who strived to give him the best health care possible.
After being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2011, Markie focused on his health and lost 140 pounds. Following his weight loss, he told ABC:
"I wanted to live. Since I have to be a diabetic, If I didn't make the changes, it was going to make the diabetes worse. I'm trying to get off [the Diabetes meds]."
He further revealed the way to get off his medications was to lose weight. He said he was off half the medications and stated his resolve to get off the rest.
Markie is renowned for his hit song "Just A Friend," which he released in September 1989. The song was the lead single from his "Biz Never Sleeps" album and was his biggest hit.
During his career, he released five albums, including "All Samples Cleared." He released the album after a court fined him $250,000 and ordered him to halt the sales of his single "I Need a Haircut" because of his unauthorized use of a Gilbert O'Sullivan sample on the song "Alone Again."
Markie took the ruling in his stride and had the last laugh by sampling five different renditions of Allen Toussaint's "Get Out of My Life Woman" in the "All Samples Cleared" album.
Besides his music career, Markie also starred in some films and television shows, including "Men in Black II," "In Living Color," "Black-Ish," "Empire," etc.
Markie had a loving relationship with his surviving wife, Hall. The late rapper has shared several pictures of his wife on his Instagram page.
In April 2019, he celebrated her birthday by sharing a picture of them posing side by side and asked fans to wish her a happy birthday.
Hall also posts pictures of her husband on her Instagram page. In 2018, she shared a picture of them cuddling after she saw him kick off Steve Harvey's Sand and Soul Weekend extravaganza. She also shared a snap of Markie entertaining the crowd.
"You can only imagine what kind of Dad Biz is… fun, fun, fun! Happy Father's Day @officialbizmarkie ..and to all the Loving Fathers out there…keep making memories."
She also wrote that the memories fathers make mean so much to their families and thanked fans for the prayers and support messages towards her husband.
Hopefully, Hall, her children, and the rest of Markie's family will find all the strength they need to deal with his death and keep his legacy alive. May his soul rest in peace.