Ty, the critically acclaimed UK rapper who was once nominated for the Mercury prize, has died aged 47 after contracting coronavirus.
The Nigerian-British musician, born in London in 1972, built a reputation for representing the London hip-hop scene while paying homage to the old-school US rappers.
While he was well known with the British hip-hop circles, Ty earned national recognition in 2004 when his second album, Upwards, was nominated for the Mercury Prize alongside the likes of Amy Winehouse, The Streets, Franz Ferdinand and more.
The rapper, originally born Ben Chijioke, had contracted coronavirus and those close to him were appealing for help in April when an online fundraiser was launched. According to the crowdfund description, Ty was “admitted into the hospital with medical complications related to Covid-19. Shortly after, he was put in a medically induced coma to temporarily sedate to help his body receive the appropriate treatment”.
Despite showing signs of improvement, Diane Laidlaw confirmed Ty’s death after the rapper’s condition worsened into pneumonia: “Ty’s condition had been improving but last week while on a normal ward he had contracted pneumonia which worsened his recovery and ultimately Ty’s body couldn’t fight back anymore … close friends, family and fans are devastated of his death.”
Having worked with the likes of De La Soul, Speech, Bahamadia, Zion I and the great Tony Allen, Ty went on to record five full-length studio albums with his most recent, A Work of Heart, being released in 2018.
Tributes have already started flowing in for the influential musician, some of which can be seen below.