Biz Markie, known for his beat boxing skills and comedic hip-hop style, has passed away. According to multiple sources, he died on July 16, 2021 at the age of 57.
His manager confirmed his death with a statement:
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. 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.
His wife also confirmed his passing with a loving tribute post to her now late husband.
“A GOOD heart stopped beating this evening… and I was there for the last one,” his wife Tara Davis wrote on Instagram. “Biz Fought till the end, like the true legend he is. Biz passed his strength to me during his transition while holding his hand. He knows I’ll need it to carry on the rest of my life without him.
The cause of his death wasn’t revealed. According to Billboard, he had a rough year in 2020 regarding his health. In April 2020 he was hospitalized due to diabetes complications and also had a stroke while in a diabetic coma.
Biz Markie was born Marcel Theo Hall in Harlem, New York but later settled and grew up in Long Island. He got his start in hip-hop as a beat boxer for the Juice Crew in 1985. In 1988, he secured his own record deal with Cold Chillin’ Records and released his debut album Goin’ Off in 1988. His other alums included 1991’s The Biz Never Sleeps, which featured his hit single “Just A Friend,” I Need A Haircut, All Samples Cleared, On The Turntable and Weekend Warrior. During his career, he was deemed the “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop.”
He also took his talents to TV and film. He had a “Biz’s Beat of the Day” beatboxing segment on Yo Gabba Gabba! He also had a guest starring role in Men In Black II.