Rap legend Biz Markie dies at age 57


(July 16, 2021) We are sad to report tonight that legendary rapper Biz Markie has died at age 57. Markie’s manager, Jenni Izumi issued the following statement to USA TODAY: “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,

We reported last year that Markie, born Marcel Theo Hall, was hospitalized for several weeks for complications related to his Type 2 diabetes. He had previously lost 140 pounds in an attempt to improve his health.

Markie had a string of hits in the late 80s and early 90s, highlighted by hit top ten smash, the comical “Just A Friend,” which sampled the 1968 Freddie Scott hit “You Got What I Need.” Another sample, on his 1991 hit “Alone Again,” resulted in a successful lawsuit by 1970s pop singer Gilbert O’Sullivan, who hadn’t approved the use of portions of his #1 hit “Alone Again (Naturally). The result of that case changed the landscape for use of pop samples in hip hop music.

While his biggest hits were behind him by the beginning of the new millennium, Markie stayed in the spotlight with television and movie appearances – everything from Spongebob Squarepants to Men in Black II – and his “Just A Friend” was honored by VH1 as one of the 100 Greatest Hip-Hop songs.

We send our condolences to the family and friends of Biz Markie.


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