Ty, Mercury prize-nominated UK rapper, dies aged 47 of coronavirus

Ty, the acclaimed UK hip-hop star who was nominated for the Mercury prize for his album Upwards, has died aged 47 after contracting coronavirus.

A fundraiser that was launched in early April said the rapper, born Ben Chijioke, 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”.

His condition improved, however, and he was moved out of intensive care in mid-April. But in an update posted to his fundraiser page, organiser Diane Laidlaw stated: “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.”

Born in London in 1972, the son of Nigerian immigrants, Ty released his debut album Awkward in 2001, showcasing a tangibly British take on the US boom-bap style of hip-hop. Witty tracks like The Tale showed off his talent for storytelling and earned him a cult audience.



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