Jamal Edwards dead at 31: Rita Ora and Fearne Cotton lead tributes to mogul who helped launch Ed Sheeran and Jessie J


MUSIC mogul and entrepreneur Jamal Edwards has died at the age of 31.

Tributes have poured in for the music industry pioneer, DJ, and founder of SBTV – who helped launch Ed Sheeran and Jessie J to global fame.

Jamal Edwards has died at the age of 31
Jamal’s SBTV helped launch the careers of many household names, including Ed Sheeran

Jamal with his mum Brenda on Loose Women

Edwards, from Luton, set up the legendary music and culture content platform when he was just 15 years old after being gifted a camera for Christmas.

The SBTV YouTube platform helped launch the careers of dozens of household names – including Emeli Sandé and Dave, as well as Ed and Jessie.

The legend, who is Loose Women star Brenda Edwards’ son, received an MBE at the age of 23 for his services to music – and he was a Prince’s Trust Ambassador.

And the trailblazer was also known for his charitable services and helping the next generation, setting up a series of youth clubs in London communities in 2020.

Tributes have poured in for the British rap and grime icon – as many in the industry say they owe their careers to Edwards.

His cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

YouTube’s official account wrote last night: “We’ve lost a legend today.

“Jamal Edwards was an inspiration to so many, supporting artists and shaping culture through SBTV.”

Following the announcement, singer Rita Ora, who said her first ever interview was with Edwards, wrote alongside a series of snaps on Instagram: “Our endless talks on music and the belief you had in me and so many of us before we even believed in ourselves. I’m devastated.

“No words can describe how grateful I am to of been in your presence. Thank you for all you ever showed me.”

And TV and radio presenter Fearne Cotton said: “Completely heartbreaking. Jamal you were the most special person.

“I adored hanging out with you, chatting about life and big dreams.

“You’re creativity and passion for nurturing new talent will never be forgotten.”

Actor and Loose Women regular Denise Welch, who knew his family, added: “My heart aches for my friend Brenda. I can’t bear it.

“Jamal Edwards was a wonderful son and brother.”

And rapper AJ Tracey said: “RIP Jamal Edwards, west London legend status.”

Jamal with Jessie J – whose career was kickstarted by the music mogul

Rita Ora said her first ever interview was with Jamal

Edwards with Prince Charles at the launch of the Prince’s Trust Summer Sessions in 2013

Prince William, Prince Harry and Jamal Edwards pose for a picture at Queen’s Young Leaders Programme Launch in 2014

Jamal received an MBE in 2014 at the age of 23 for his services to music

Spoken word artist George the Poet wrote: “RIP Jamal Edwards. Giving God thanks that you did what he sent you to do.

“So many of us owe our careers to you bro. Thank you for everything.”

The MOBO Awards wrote on Twitter: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Jamal Edwards passing.

“As the founder of SBTV online, his groundbreaking work & legacy in British music and culture will live on.

“Our hearts and thoughts are with his friends and family.”

Jamal attended the Brit Awards earlier this month and performed as a DJ at a gig in north London on Saturday night, it’s understood.

A fan wrote on Twitter: “Jamal Edwards is easily one of the most influential people of the last 15 years in the UK, did so much for so many people, RIP.”

Journalist Robert Peston said in tribute: “I am shocked and immensely sad to hear about the death of Jamal Edwards.

“He was such an inspirational and kind man. I loved filming with him at the BBC.

“And he was important to speakers for schools in its early days as a brilliant speaker. Condolences to all close to him.”


And British rapper Hardy Caprio said in an emotional statement: “Saving one life is something to be proud of. Saving multiple is something to be celebrated for.

“Here is a man who saved all of our lives whether you were watching his vids or an artist he gave opportunity. R.I.P Jamal Edwards.

“Those good deeds will always follow you.”

Another tribute read: “One of the saddest evenings ever in the UK music industry.

“A visionary. An enthusiastic soul with his camera, capturing historical moments and giving opportunities to many.

“The way we viewed our artists was to change, forever.”

Rapper Lady Leshurr said that the news was “heartbreaking” and praised the music mogul for helping her career.

She wrote: “He gave me opportunity after opportunity to showcase my talent from Brum into London. We need to keep his name and brand alive.”

ITV journalist Jam Williams-Thomas added: “This man did so much for grime and UK music.

“I grew up watching SBTV to see all the underrepresented artists of the scene. His grind is unmatched.

“A real inspiration and a huge, huge loss to the industry. Honoured to share first names with you. RIP Jamal Edwards.”

Rapper Big Narstie said that he only spoke to Jamal today – adding that the devastating news “can’t be true.”

He wrote: “This can’t be real, spoke to Jamal Edwards today, we doing video Wednesday.”

And comedian Mo Gilligan described Jamal as a “truly humble and blessed soul” whose legacy will “live on for years”.

Amelia Dimoldenberg, the creator of Chicken Shop Dates, also praised Edwards.

Writing on Twitter, she said: “Jamal Edwards, one of the most generous people I have ever met. Someone who loved music and truly believed in all the joy it brings. Going above and beyond to connect people and bring ideas to life.

“You have shaped culture and changed the lives of others – never to be forgotten.

“Thank you for everything. You will be so greatly missed.”


Tributes also extended beyond the entertainment landscape, with Chelsea FC taking to Twitter to pay respects to the Blues superfan.

The football club said: “We’re deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jamal Edwards. An inspiration to many, we’re honoured that he was part of our Chelsea family.

Blues and England player Reece James added his condolences, writing on Twitter: “Rest in peace Jamal Edwards. I’m lost for words.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also paid his respects: “British music and entertainment has lost one of its brightest stars.”

Labour MP Zarah Sultana wrote: “The impact SBTV had on the UK’s music scene and British culture is immeasurable.

“Rest in peace, Jamal Edwards. My thoughts are with everyone who knew and loved him.”

And chef Jamie Oliver said: “This is devastating.”

Singer Rita Ora said she was ‘grateful to have in his presence’

The music pioneer, who helped launch some of Britain's music legends has sadly died

The music pioneer, who helped launch some of Britain’s music legends has sadly died
Tributes have poured in for the music mogul

Jamal Edwards and Dynamo attend the GQ Car Awards 2020

Heartbreaking tributes have poured in for the music mogul