Rapper Biz Markie, whose biggest hit was “Just A Friend,” died after a series of complications from diabetes according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Reporter reports that Biz, whose real name was Marcel Theo Hall, passed away in a Baltimore hospital at 6:25 pm ET earlier tonight and that his wife and that a representative released a statement saying, “It is with profound sadness that we announce, this evening, with his wife Tara by his side, Hip Hop pioneer Biz Markie peacefully passed away. We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time. 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. We respectfully request privacy for his family as they mourn their loved one.”
Biz Markie released his debut album, Goin’ Off, in 1988, which featured a number of cult classics, including “Make the Music with Your Mouth, Biz,” “Nobody Beats The Biz,” “Vapors” and “Pickin’ Boogers.”
The following year, he released the follow-up, The Biz Never Sleeps which included “Just a Friend,” which hit number nine on the pop charts.