Rapper Biz Markie, known for 'Just a Friend,' dies at 57

Entertainment

ABC News 16 July, 2021 - 08:41pm 36 views

Where did Biz Markie live?

Markie was born in Manhattan, in the neighborhood of Harlem. He was raised on Long Island. Markie began his career in New York City nightclubs and later gained regional recognition by performing at colleges in Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Virginia; and Pennsylvania. wikipedia.orgBiz Markie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The rapper's 1989 single has been played for decades.

Rapper Biz Markie has died. He was 57 years old.

Markie, whose real name was Marcel Theo Hall, was a rapper, producer and DJ in his career, but will forever be known for his quirky, 1989 single "Just a Friend."

"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 representative said in a statement. "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."

"Just a Friend" was featured on Markie's second studio album, "The Biz Never Sleeps." It rose to No. 9 on the U.S. charts and went platinum for selling over 2 million copies.

The chorus, easy to sing along to as it repeated and grew louder as Markie grew more impassioned by his hard-luck dating life, won over both rap and mainstream fans as the genre was still bursting into the country's consciousness.

He released five solo studio albums in his career, most recently "Weekend Warrior" in 2003.

His genial personality and outgoing antics earned him several cameos in TV and films, including "Men in Black II," "Empire" and "Black-ish."

"I wanted to live," Markie told ABC News at the time. "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 [diabetes medications]. The way you gotta do it is lose the weight. I'm off half my meds, I just got to get off the rest."

He had been married to his wife, Tara Davis, for 15 years. His wife had last posted on her Instagram on Father's Day, sharing photos of Biz Markie with his children, and writing, "As always, thank you for your kind messages, phone calls, video messages and prayers. Biz loves them and is still in it to win it."

"He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter," his representative said in the statement. "We respectfully request privacy for his family as they mourn their loved one."

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events

Read full article at ABC News

Rapper Biz Markie, Known for Hit Song 'Just a Friend,' Dies at Age 57

PEOPLE 16 July, 2021 - 07:41pm

On Friday, the musician, born Marcel Theo Hall, died with his wife Tara by his side, his rep confirmed to PEOPLE. His cause of death was not revealed.

"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. We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time," the rep said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

"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."

The New York City rap icon was previously believed to have died earlier this month after rumors circulated on social media about his apparent death.

"The news of Biz Markie's passing is not true," manager Jenni Izumi said in a statement to multiple outlets at the time. "Biz is still under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best health care possible."

"Biz's wife and family are touched by the outpouring of love and admiration from his friends, peers and fans alike," Izumi continued. "At this time, we ask for your continued thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

No other information on Markie's condition or what prompted him to seek medical care was released at the time by his manager. The rapper was reportedly previously hospitalized last year for complications related to Type 2 diabetes, Izumi told TMZ at the time.

A year later in October 1989, Markie's second studio album, The Biz Never Sleeps, was released, which featured his hit track, "Just A Friend." The song became the artist's most successful single, reaching No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The track samples the 1968 song "You Got What I Need" by Freddie Scott, providing the setup for the song's chorus.

The rapper later went on to release three more studio albums — 1991's I Need a Haircut, 1993's All Samples Cleared! and 2003's Weekend Warrior — throughout the years. He also dabbled in acting a bit, starring on projects such as Sharknado 2: The Second One, Yo Gabba Gabba, Empire, Black-ish and Spongebob SquarePants.

Biz Markie

Entertainment Stories