Music industry

The music industry mourns the death of SBTV founder Jamal Edwards

The UK music industry is in mourning following the death of SBTV founder Jamal Edwards, aged 31.

The entrepreneur shot to fame creating the new music platform, which helped launch a string of UK music careers including Dave and Jessie J.

He was an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity run by the Prince of Wales, and in 2014 he was awarded an MBE for his services to music.

His manager told the PA news agency that Edwards died on Sunday morning.

Tributes to Edwards flooded social media with many expressing condolences to her mother, Loose Women panelist Brenda Edwards who finished fourth in the second series of The X Factor in 2005.

Denise Welch from Loose Women said: “My heart aches for my friend Brenda. I can not support it. Jamal Edwards was a wonderful son and brother.

Bafta-winning actor, screenwriter, director and producer Adam Deacon, best known for his starring role in Kidulthood, said he was “heartbroken” over Edwards’ death.

He said on Twitter: “Today I was on set when I heard the tragic news that my good friend Jamal Edwards had passed away and I am honestly 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. Thinking of his friends and family during this devastating time. RIP Jamal Edwards.

Youtube’s official Twitter account said the industry had “lost a legend”, adding, “Jamal Edwards has been an inspiration to so many, supporting artists and shaping culture through @SBTVonline. Sending our condolences to Jamal’s family and community.

The tributes have also extended beyond the entertainment landscape, with Chelsea FC paying tribute to the Blues super fan.

The football club wrote on Twitter: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jamal Edwards. An inspiration to many, we are honored to have him part of our Chelsea family.

“Our hearts go out to everyone who knew and loved him.”

Edwards was a teenager when he launched the youth film production and broadcast channel SBTV to upload clips he had recorded of his friends performing at the estate where he lived in Acton, west London.

By 2014 he had amassed an estimated fortune of around £8million and worked with Jessie J, Emeli Sande and Ed Sheeran.

The Prince of Wales and Jamal Edwards at the launch of the Prince’s Trust Summer Sessions (Chris Jackson/PA)

(PA wire)

Speaking to PA after being made an MBE, he said he started SBTV to give his friends a platform.

He added: “It was frustrating going to school and everyone was talking about ‘how can 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 big companies’, but I think I was pretty early to believe I could make a change.”

In the same interview, he describes his working relationship with musicians as “symbiotic”.

“50% is the talent and 50% is the platform,” he said.

“I try to focus on people who don’t have the platform. In addition to having a very well-known artist, I also want to have promising artists.