British rapper Ty, who was nominated for the prestigious Mercury music prize, has died after contracting coronavirus, according to a fundraising page set up to support him.
Stars including Roots Manuva paid tribute to the 47-year-old Londoner, real name Ben Chijioke, who died on Thursday.
Ty released his debut album Awkward in 2001, the first of five. His follow-up, Upward, was nominated for the Mercury in 2004 alongside Amy Winehouse.
Roots Manuva, who collaborated with the rapper, tweeted on Thursday: “Rest my Brother. You did good.”
Rest my Brother. You did good. @tymusic
— Roots Manuva (@rootsmanuva) May 7, 2020
DJ Gilles Peterson said Ty “was a huge part in the development of hip hop and spoken word in this country”.
“An original no nonsense voice, always sharp, always witty. Today’s generation of rappers owe him a lot — a true gate opener. RIP,” he tweeted.
I’m so sad about the news that @tymusic passed away today. He was a huge part in the development of Hip Hop and spoken word in this country. An original no nonsense voice always sharp always witty. todays generation of rappers owe him a lot – a true gate opener. RIP
— Gilles Peterson (@gillespeterson) May 7, 2020
The death of Ty, who was born into a Nigerian family, was announced on a fundraising page set up to help him when he fell ill.
His manager did not reply to a request for comment from AFP.
Fundraising page organiser Diane Laidlaw said Ty was admitted to hospital with complications related to COVID-19, and was put in a medically-induced coma.
He woke up and appeared to be getting better but last week contracted pneumonia in hospital, and died on May 7.
“The family would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has reached out and expressed their concern since he was admitted in hospital,” Laidlaw wrote.
“But right now they would value having their privacy, so they can mourn privately.”
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