WILL Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, were saddened to deliver the news that a dear friend has passed away on Friday and they both paid tribute in their own ways.
The longtime couple took to Instagram independently to pay their respects to American rapper, Biz Markie, who died with his wife by his side.
Will’s social media post was short but poignant as he shared a photo alongside Biz and simply wrote: “RIP BIZ,” along with a broken heart emoji. He also added a clip from his movie, Men in Black, starring Biz.
Jada also shared a photo of the late star – who was a beatboxer and producer too – and said: “Blessed many Smith Clan events with music, humor and laughter. He knew how to rock a party through and through and was always a supreme joy to be around.
“He was the sweetest. May he now rest in the arms of the Great Supreme. Rest in Love Biz. My condolences to his family, friends and all that love him.”
Biz was only 57 when he passed away and his representative, Jenni Izumi, confirmed his death.
“We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time,” she said in a statement. “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.”
His cause of death was not revealed but Biz was known to have health issues after being diagnosed with diabetes in 2014. He was hospitalised due to complications from the disease in 2020.
Tributes flooded in for Biz from fans both famous and not. Kerry Washington remembered Biz from her youth and wrote: “When I was a teenager we used to sneak out on Monday night to hit the hottest party in NYC.
“Soul Kitchen taught me how to let music live in my body. Whenever we saw Biz on the 1s & 2s we were in awe. He was a genius. Rest In Peace and Soul.”
- Hello Magazine