His mother, Brenda Edwards, a panelist on the British TV talk show Loose Women, confirmed that he passed on Sunday morning in a statement.
“It is with the deepest heartache that I confirm that my beautiful son Jamal Edwards passed away yesterday morning after a sudden illness,” the statement read. “Myself, his sister Tanisha and the rest of his family and friends are completely devastated. He was the center of our world."
After the devastating death of Jamal, our thoughts are with Brenda today. She’s sent us this message: pic.twitter.com/EZWH3b5tcX— Loose Women (@loosewomen) February 21, 2022
“As we come to terms with his passing we ask for privacy to grieve this unimaginable loss,” the statement continued. “I would like to thank everyone for their messages of love and support. Jamal was an inspiration to myself and so many. Our love for him lives on, his legacy lives on. Long live Jamal Edwards MBE, MBA, and PhD.”
Born in Luton, Bedfordshire and raised in West London, Edwards found his calling at the age of 15 when his parents gave him a video camera as a Christmas gift.
In 2006, he launched SBTV (SmokeyBarz TV) as an online platform to showcase emerging artists that would give early exposure to the careers of Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, and Emeli Sandé. At the time, SBTV became the first new media business to be featured on YouTube which was only a year old. Reflecting on the launch of SBTV, “it was a local boy, global voice thing: when you put your stuff on the internet it goes out to a global audience straight away.”
“Everyone in my area was an MC and I thought ‘Alright, if everyone is doing MCing what else can I do that’s around the music?’” he told BBC Radia 1Xtra in 2017.
“I remember I was just sitting there and was thinking, ‘Why can’t I find these online?’ and if they were online it was just bad-quality versions, so I thought ‘Alright, cool, I’m going to try and film people in my area and upload it to YouTube.’ And from there it just started building and growing,” he added.
Currently, the SBTV YouTube channel boasts over 1 billion total views along with 1.2 million subscribers.
As a philanthropist, Edwards became an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a youth charity run by the Prince of Wales that helps young people set up their own companies.
At the age of 24, he received an MBE (Member of the British Empire) award for his services to music in 2014.
Bringing his creative prowess to the fashion world, he launched a headwear collection Top Man and has collaborated with companies such as Primark.
In 2017 he curated a documentary with the Guardian about male suicide, in which he spoke to childhood friends who had suffered from mental health problems. In response to the crisis, he would help reopen four youth centers in Acton, England by partnering with Google and the Wellcome Trust and he expanded the initiative throughout the UK.
He is survived by his mother and his sister, Tanisha.
We extend our prayers and condolences to the family and friends of Jamal Edwards.