Rapper Biz Markie has died aged 57.
The hip-hop star, best known for his hit Just A Friend, died on Friday with his wife Tara by his side.
A rep confirmed: ‘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 cause of death was not confirmed.
However, last year, the star – real name Marcel Theo Hall – was hospitalised for complications related to Type 2 diabetes.