In early 2022, his manager said Jamal Edwards died in the early hours of Sunday, February 20.
Who is Jamal Edwards and what is SBTV?
Born in Luton in 1990, Jamal Edwards worked in music and film throughout his career.
Jamal Edwards was a teenager when he launched the youth broadcasting and production film channel SBTV, uploading clips he had recorded of his friends performing on the estate where he lived in Acton, west London. At first the channel was focused on grime music, but he soon branched out.
He was an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust - the charity headed by the Prince Charles, Prince of Wales - and was awarded an MBE for his services to music in 2014.By 2014, he had amassed an estimated fortune of around £8 million and worked with the likes of Jessie J, Emeli Sande and Ed Sheeran.
Speaking to PA after being made an MBE, he said he started SBTV – which by 2019 had more than one million subscribers – to give his friends a platform.
He said: “It was a frustration of going to school and everyone talking about ‘how do we get our videos on MTV’.
“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 major corporations’, but I think I was early enough to believe that I could make a change.”
In the same interview, he described his working relationship with musicians as “symbiotic”.
“50% is the talent and 50% is the platform,” he said. “I try to focus on people that haven’t got the platform. As well as getting a really well-known artist I want to get the up-and-coming ones as well.”
Awards organisation Mobo said on Twitter: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Jamal Edwards passing. As the founder of @SBTVonline, his groundbreaking work and legacy in British music and culture will live on.
“Our hearts and thoughts are with his friends and family.”
In 2011, SBTV found mainstream success when it was featured in an advert for Google Chrome, causing the SBTV site to crash with heavy traffic. It went on to become the UK’s second-most popular Youtube video of that year.
Who is Jamal Edwards’ mum Brenda Edwards?
Tributes to Edwards flooded social media following his death, with many expressing their condolences to his mother, the Loose Women panellist Brenda Edwards who finished fourth in the second series of the X Factor in 2005.
She sang songs including Song of a Preacher Man and Midnight Train to Georgia. During her time on X Factor, Brenda Edwards was mentored by Sharon Osbourne in the Over-25s category.
Loose Women’s Denise Welch said: “My heart aches for my friend Brenda. I can’t bear it. Jamal Edwards was a wonderful son and brother.”
As well as being a weekly panelist on Loose Women, Brenda Edwards is a presented on BBC One’s long-running programme Songs of Praise.
What was Jamal Edwards’ cause of death?
In a heartfelt statement shared with Good Morning Britain in the days following his death, mum Brenda Edwards said that Jamal’s family are 'completely devastated'.
She said that he died following a sudden illness.
“It is with the deepest heartache that I can confirm that my beautiful son Jamal Edwards passed away yesterday morning after a sudden illness,” Brenda said.
“Myself, his sister Tanisha and the rest of his family and friends are completely devastated. He was the centre of our world.”
She said: “As we come to terms with his passing we ask for privacy to grieve this unimaginable loss. I would like to thank everyone for their messages of love and support.
“Jamal was an inspiration to myself and so many. Our love for him lives on, his legacy lives on. Long live Jamal Edwards MBE, MBA, PHD.”
It has been reported Jamal Edwards died of a ‘heart attack’ at the home he shared with Brenda Edwards.
The Daily Mail and The Metro report that a school friend said Jamal Edwards died of a ‘heart attack’ after returning home from a DJ set.
Now it has been confirmed by Brenda Edwards that her son died from cardiac arrhythmia after taking recreational drugs.
In a statement, she said: “I have sadly learned that the cause of Jamal's devastating passing was due to cardiac arrhythmia.
"[This was] caused by having taken recreational drugs and I wanted to address this myself to everyone who loved, admired and respected my son.
"Since finding out the news I've been in a state of shock, and I am still trying to process it.
"But it's so important to me that I do address it as no mother or any loved one should have to go through what Jamal's sister, Tanisha, and I have been through since he passed."
"These types of substances are extremely unpredictable, and we can only hope that this will encourage others to think wisely when faced with similar situations in the future. His passing has shown that any one bad decision on any one occasion can lead to devastating consequences.
"It's so important that we help drive more conversation about the unpredictability of recreational drugs and the impact that they can have - how it takes just one bad reaction to destroy lives."
The Daily Mail has reported that Brenda Edwards was left in ‘a state of shock’ after learning the cause of her son's death.
Which celebrities have paid tribute to Jamal Edwards?
Tributes have been pouring in from music industry figures, sports stars and other celebrities for the SBTV founder – who championed acts including Dave, Ed Sheeran and Jessie J – after his death at the age of 31.
A tweet from the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s Clarence House Twitter account said: “Thinking of the family of Jamal Edwards today. His work in music but also as an ambassador for a new generation, including his work for The Prince’s Trust, were an inspiration to so many.”
Former prime minister David Cameron, now chairman of the National Citizen Service’s Board of Patrons, tweeted: “My thoughts & prayers are with the family of Jamal Edwards MBE.
“He was a great friend to @NCS & a valued Patron, supporting & inspiring young people to be the best they could be, leading from the front & showing what’s possible with hard work & determination.
“Such a sad loss.”
Sir Richard Branson, who penned the foreword for Edwards’ 2013 book, Self Belief: The Vision, added: “So sad to hear about the passing of Jamal Edwards MBE.
“What a loss of a truly extraordinary young man who made a huge difference to so many people’s lives.”
Jessie J, whose early appearances SBTV helped propel her to fame, said in a post on Instagram: “Your light. Your ideas. Your work ethic. Your laugh. Your care for every person you met was unmatched.
“But your friendship… Phew. That’s why my heart is broken. We had plans bro. I can’t believe this is real. I love you @jamaledwards.”
The Price Tag singer also shared clips of her and Edwards appearing on Channel 4 series Gogglebox together and a screenshot of a text exchange in which she told the music entrepreneur, “Miss you”.
Chelsea FC player Reece James said on Twitter: “Rest in peace Jamal Edwards. I’m lost for words.”
Elliot Gleave – the musician, singer, songwriter, rapper and record producer better known by his stage name Example – said: “Can’t believe you’re gone. 31 years old. Can’t find the words right now.”
Comedian Mo Gilligan, who hosted the Brit Awards, tweeted: “A truly humble and blessed soul. Your legacy will live on for years & you’ve inspired a whole generation. Rest easy Jamal Edwards.”
Bafta-winning actor writer, director, and producer Adam Deacon, known for his leading role in Kidulthood, said he was “heartbroken” about the death of Jamal Edwards.
He tweeted: “Today I was on set when I found out the tragic news that my good friend Jamal Edwards had passed away and I’m honestly heartbroken.
“Jamal was one of the nicest, most down to earth and humble men I’ve met in this industry. He always gave me time even when no one else would.
“He was an inspiration and what he achieved in life was truly remarkable. Thinking of his friends and family at this devastating time. RIP Jamal Edwards.”
Che Wolton Grant, better known by his stage name AJ Tracey, also took to Twitter to pay tribute.
The rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer from Ladbroke Grove, west London, said: “RIP Jamal Edwards, West London legend status.”DJ, model and presenter Snoochie Shy, AKA Cheyenne Davide, said: “RIP to Jamal Edwards. One of the kindest, thoughtful and all round great person. Gone way too soon.”
Amelia Dimoldenberg, the creator of Chicken Shop Dates, praised Edwards.
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.”
What was Jamal Edwards’ net worth?
By 2014, he had amassed an estimated fortune of around £8 million and worked with the likes of Jessie J, Emeli Sande and Sheeran.
What did the Loose Women panel say about Jamal Edward’s death?
The panellists of Loose Women have paid tribute to SBTV founder Jamal Edwards and condolences to his mother, fellow panellist Brenda, following his sudden death aged 31.
During Monday’s instalment of Loose Women, the panel spoke of Brenda’s sadness at the way the death of her son was made public on social media.
Host Charlene White told viewers Brenda, a singer and presenter, felt the announcement had been “taken away from her” by people posting about the news online.
The panel became tearful as they watched clips of Edwards and shared memories of the times he appeared on the programme.
White said: “Any of you who regularly watch the show will know the love Brenda had for both Jamal and her daughter Tanisha was massive. Her heart was full of so much love for those children.
“So you know just how shocked Brenda is and just how hard it’s hit all of us who knew him and of course all of us who love Brenda.”
White said she and fellow panellist Judi Love had spent much of the night with their friend on Sunday after hearing the news.
Love added: “I don’t want to have to do this but we have to.
“It’s heartbreaking and all we can do is try and do the best we can to support Brenda and honour her amazing son in such a difficult time.
“We just wanted to be there for her yesterday.”
White also addressed the manner in which Edwards’ death had been announced, sharing a message from his mother with viewers.
She said: “Brenda gave a statement this morning which I will read some of, and the reason why I am going to read some of this is because the opportunity to share Brenda’s loss and the family’s loss – that was taken away from Brenda because of various people on social media who decided to tell Brenda’s story, and to tell Jamal’s story without consulting Brenda, which was not fair in any shape or form.”
Describing Edwards as a “powerhouse” who changed the UK music scene, White added: “But what people have to understand is there is work life and there is family life and there is home life – and it should have been Brenda who was able to choose when she wanted the world to know about her loss and that was taken away from her.”
Her statement said Edwards had died on Sunday morning following a “sudden illness” and that family and friends are “completely devastated”.
She added: “He was the centre of our world.”
The Loose Women panel ended the show by airing a clip of Brenda appearing on the show previously, singing the 1977 track The Greatest Love of All.
What did Brenda Edwards say about her son in her first appearance on Loose Women?
On April 25th, Brenda Edwards gave her first interview on L oose Women since the tragic death of her son, Jamal Edwards in February.
The interview - which was recorded at fellow Loose Women panellist Coleen Nolan’s house in Cheshire - showed Brenda talking about being at her son’s side when he passed away.
Coleen began the interview by asking Brenda how she is and Brenda replied, “I’m doing okay. The way I’m looking at it - I’m taking each day as it comes. The one thing that I do want to say is I was with him and his sister was with us, we were all at home. It was sudden and it was unexpected and he went into cardiac arrest. Then he passed with me holding his hand, so I get a little bit of comfort from knowing I was with him.”
Brenda added, “As much as that is comfort, at the same time, it’s a vision that I’m never going to forget. When I wake up every morning - all of his photos are still obviously in the house - and I look at him and say, ‘Good morning, baby’ and ‘Good night, baby’. And I think doing that is what’s keeping me going. He always had this lovely, bright smile, just used to light up. He had this funny laugh. I feel his presence constantly and I know I’ve always been somebody who has faith and who believes in that and that has been a massive comfort to me.”
On Jamal’s funeral, which Brenda calls a ‘homegoing’, Brenda explained, “When we laid him to rest, it was really beautiful. We looked up into the sky and there was a J - the clouds had formed a J. A friend took a picture of it.”
Afterwards, Ruth Langsford, Coleen Nolan, Frankie Bridge and Jane Moore all read out messages of support for Brenda from Loose Women viewers and Ruth said all will be passed on to Brenda.
What is the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust?
In her interview on Loose Women, Brenda revealed she’s set up the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust in Jamal’s memory. She said, “It’s been set up with two main things in mind. Jamal was all about empowering young people. We want to set up an academy for 16-21 year olds, giving them an internship if you like, within an organisation over a period of a year, where they learn everything from the ground up. And then we’re also looking to set up a homeless sanctuary.”
Coleen commented that listening to Brenda, she “sees Jamal.” Coleen added, “It’s like Jamal talking, you’ve found his passion.”
Brenda said of Jamal’s legacy, “He said, ‘We all die, the goal is not to live forever but to create something that will.’ And I believe he has created something that will and I’m determined to make sure that it will. That’s my goal.”
Jamal Edwards Music Industry Trusts (MITS) Award?
Jamal Edwards has been announced as the first person to receive posthumously the Music Industry Trusts (MITS) Award in recognition of his contribution to the sector.
His mother Brenda, a singer and panellist on daytime TV show Loose Women, said: “It is very humbling for the family to be accepting this award on behalf of our beloved Jamal and we are delighted to have the MITS highlight the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust alongside The Brit Trust and Nordoff Robbins.
Additional reporting by PA