Rapper Biz Markie succumbed to diabetes complications and passed away on Friday. He was 57 years old.
He’d been fighting diabetes complications for over a year. He was hospitalized last summer due to an ailment caused by his Type II Diabetes, and a rep gave assurance that he was doing well, given the situation.
“He is receiving the best care from an amazing team of medical professionals, and we remain positive about the outcome,” said the rep.
News around Biz’s health was hushed until Big Daddy Kane appeared on The Breakfast Club in April. He told the show’s hosts that Biz was doing better and in a physical rehab facility.
Rumors flew that he was in a coma during that stay, but sources say that was never true. Two weeks prior to his actual death, more stories that the rapper had passed away began to circulate.
However, while still alive, he was in a hospice with significant brain damage due to a stroke. His rep told Rolling Stone, “The news of Biz Markie’s passing is not true. Biz is still under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best healthcare possible.”
This made his death somewhat of a surprise when he took his last breath at 6:25 pm just 15 days later, holding his wife, Tara’s hand.
Biz’s rep made a formal 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. He leaves behind a wife, many family members, and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes, and frequent banter.”
Markie made a name for himself when his one-hit wonder, “Just a Friend,” became a Top 40 hit in multiple countries and went platinum in 1989. Over the years, he also appeared in the movie “Men in Black II” as a beatboxing alien and was a regular on the kid’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba” with Biz’s beat of the day.