Tributes pour in for music entrepreneur and YouTube star Jamal Edwards who has died aged 31

ITV News Entertainment Reporter Rishi Davda explores the legacy of Jamal Edwards, a pioneering figure in British rap and grime music who helped launch a wave of new artists to a global audience

Tributes have poured in from across the music industry and beyond for British entrepreneur Jamal Edwards after the confirmation of his death at age 31.

The entrepreneur's mother Brenda Edwards said her son passed away on Sunday morning "after a sudden illness", describing his death as an "unimaginable loss".

In a statement, Ms Edwards, who is a regular panellist on Loose Women, said: “It is with the deepest heartache that I confirm that my beautiful son Jamal Edwards passed away yesterday morning after a sudden illness.

"Myself, his sister Tanisha, and the rest of his family and friends are completely devastated. He was the centre of our world. “As we come to terms with his passing, we asked for privacy to grieve this unimaginable loss."

During a segment on the show on Monday, panelist Charlene White talked about how Mr Edwards inspired a generation, describing the entrepreneur as "one man" who changed the entire UK music scene.

Ms White said the flood of tributes that have been paid to him shows "how big his heart was".

"Jamal's impact will keep going on. It will be felt for years and years and years to come because that is the man that he was," she said.

"And you can tell that from all the kind words and statements that have been said about that man today."

'Jamal's impact will keep going on. It will be felt for years and years and years to come'

Loose Women panellist Judi Love said the news was "heart-breaking" as it was revealed that her and Ms White were with Ms Edwards on Sunday night, comforting her after the passing.

"We just wanted to physically be with her and Tanisha and to give them all the hugs and love that we could possibly give them," Ms White said.

Mr Edwards gained fame from setting up new music platform SBTV - helping to launch a string of UK music careers including Dave, Ed Sheeran and Jessie J.

The entrepreneur was awarded an MBE in 2014 - when he was 24 – for his services to music.

Following the news of his death, people from the music, politics and sports worlds paid their respect to the pioneering figure in British rap and grime music.

Rapper and singer AJ Tracey was one of the first to pay tribute online, saying: “RIP Jamal Edwards, west London legend status.”

Singer Rita Ora said in an Instagram post that she was devastated at the news, writing: “My first ever interview was with you. Jamal, Our endless talks on music and the belief you had in me and so many of us before we even believed in ourselves. I’m devastated."

Adding to the tributes, actor Idris Elba posted a black square on Instagram and wrote: “We lost one @jamaledwards You will be missed little brother.”

Bafta-winning actor writer, director, and producer Adam Deacon, known for his leading role in Kidulthood, said he was “heartbroken” about the death and that Mr Edwards was one of the most "humble" and "most down to earth" people he had met in the music industry.

Awards organisation Mobo paid tribute to the YouTube star, saying they were "deeply saddened" to hear of his passing, adding that "his groundbreaking work and legacy in British music and culture will live on".

Comedian Mo Gilligan, who hosted the Brit Awards earlier this month, called Mr Edwards a “truly humble and blessed soul”.

Amelia Dimoldenberg, the creator of Chicken Shop Date, also praised Mr Edwards, saying how he shaped the modern cultural landscape, connected people and helped ideas become realised.

Tributes also extended beyond the entertainment landscape, with Chelsea FC taking to Twitter to pay respects to the Blues superfan.

The Chelsea and England player Reece James added his condolences, writing on Twitter: “Rest in peace Jamal Edwards. I’m lost for words.”

Mr Edwards was a teenager when he decided to launch the youth broadcasting and production film SBTV to upload clips he recorded of his friends performing on the estate where he lived in Acton, west London.

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.

He went onto Loose Women last year to talk about how he built a multi-million pound business and how his mum Brenda inspired him.

Mr Edwards was also an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity headed by the Prince of Wales, which described him as an “incredible innovator and entrepreneur” in their tribute.

Extending their wishes to the entrepreneur's family, Prince Charles and Camilla said the 31-year-old's contribution to music was an "inspiration to so many".

Speaking to PA after receiving his MBE, he said he started SBTV 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."

Jamal Edwards with MBE, after it was awarded to him by the Prince of Wales. Credit: PA

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."

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