There were rumors last night that rapper Biz Markie had died at 57. Now, though, his manager has confirmed that those rumors are false and that the rapper is currently alive.
In a statement to Pitchfork, the rapper’s manager, Jenni Izumi, said, “The news of Biz Markie’s passing is not true. Biz is still under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best health care possible. Biz’s wife and family are touched by the outpouring of love and admiration from his friends, peers, and fans alike. At this time, we ask for your continued thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
The rapper has faced health struggles in recent years. Last year, he was hospitalized due to complications with diabetes, with which he was originally diagnosed in 2010.
Three years following his diagnosis, Markie told ABC News, “I wanted to live. Since I have to be a diabetic, if I didn’t make the changes, it was going to make the diabetes worse. I’m trying to get off [the Diabetes meds]. The way you gotta do it is lose the weight. I’m off half my meds, I just got to get off the rest.”
The rapper found his biggest mainstream success with his 1989 single “Just A Friend,” which peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was his sole song to appear on the chart. His most recent album, Weekend Warrior, was released in 2003.