Jamal Edwards, who nurtured British musical talent, died aged 31 | app

LONDON (AP) — Jamal Edwards, a British music entrepreneur who helped launch the careers of artists such as Ed Sheeran, Jessie J and Stormzy, has died. He was 31 years old.

His mother, presenter Brenda Edwards, said on Monday that her son had died the day before from a sudden illness. She said the family was “completely devastated. He was the center of our world.

Edwards founded the online music channel SBTV as a teenager in 2006. Frustrated at not being able to find the music he liked online, he began filming the performances of friends in his neighborhood west of London. SBTV now has over 1.2 million subscribers on YouTube and has helped a generation of artists gain national and international attention.

“It was frustrating going to school and everyone was talking about ‘How do we get our videos on MTV'”, Edwards later recalled. “YouTube was like a year old. I was like, ‘I’ve got a camera for Christmas, I’m going to start filming people and uploading it.’

“Everyone was looking at me like ‘what are you doing, like you can compete with these big companies.’ But I think I was early enough to believe that I could change things.

Edwards received an MBE, an honor from the Queen, in 2014 for services to music and was an ambassador for Prince Charles’ charity, the Prince’s Trust.

His sudden death shocked the British entertainment industry.

“My very first interview was with you. Jamal,” singer Rita Ora wrote on Instagram. “Our endless discussions about music and the belief you had in me and so many of us before you even believed in ourselves. I’m devastated.”

Actor Adam Deacon said he was “heartbroken”.

“Jamal was one of the kindest, most down to earth and humble men I have met in this industry. He always gave me time even when no one else did. He was an inspiration and what he achieved in life was truly remarkable.

Rapper and producer Example, whose full name is Elliot Gleave, said, “I can’t believe you’re gone. 31 years. I can’t find the words right now.

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