*You may have heard the rumors spreading across social media that Biz Markie had died. Fortunately, it’s not true as a rep for the affable DJ/rapper/entertainer confirms he is indeed alive.
The word of Biz Markie’s supposed death first surfaced this past week saying he had passed away after spending time in hospice care.
“The news of Biz Markie’s passing is not true,” manager Jenni Izumi said in a statement. “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.”
Markie, 57, whose real name is Marcel Theo Hall, is also best known on the artist/performer side of things, for the 1989 classic hits “Just A Friend” and “Vapors.”
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Markie, who also goes by the moniker of “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop,” was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2010. He told the New York Daily News in 2013 that he had lost more than 140 pounds.
“They be seein’ me, I lost the weight, and I didn’t have to use lap band surgery or whatever,” he said. “They see that I did it, and they know I was the greedy, greasy person. So if I can do it, anyone can do it.”
“I wanted to live,” he toldABC News in 2014. “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 doctors] said I could lose my feet. They said I could lose body parts. A lot of things could happen.”
Markie was born in Harlem in 1964. He grew up on Long Island, and began his career in New York City nightclubs. The rapper and DJ gained regional recognition by performing on college campuses.