Nigerian-British rapper Ty has died at the age of 47 due to complications from COVID-19.
According to The Guardian, Ty (born Ben Chijioke) was hospitalized in early April. He was subsequently put in a medically induced coma, and though he initially showed signs of improvement, his condition ultimately deteriorated. He passed away Thursday, May 7th.
Ty’s 2003 sophomore album, Upwards, was nominated for the Mercury Prize, the annual award given to the UK’s best record. Other nominees that year included Amy Winehouse’s Frank, Belle & Sebastian’s Dear Catastrophe Waitress, Basement Jaxx’s Kish Kash, and Franz Ferdiand’s self-titled debut, which ultimately claimed the prize.
Ty’s follow-up album, 2006’s Closer, featured collaborations with De La Soul, Zion I, and Speech of Arrested Development.
More recently, Ty release a solo album called A Work of Heart in 2018, and formed a collaborative project, KingDem, alongside fellow UK rappers Rodney P and Blak Twang.