Jamal Edwards’ fans and family hold vigil to honor a legend ‘constantly in demand’

A man in a plaid sports coat walks with a fanny pack across his chest.
Jamal Edwards, seen at a fashion show in March 201`9, died Sunday morning in London.
(David M. Benett / Getty Images for Hermès)

Hundreds of people gathered Monday night in a west London neighborhood near a mural of Jamal Edwards, mourning the sudden death of the 31-year-old music entrepreneur.

Edwards died Sunday, his mother, Brenda Edwards, a singer and broadcaster, said in a statement to multiple outlets. The family was “completely devastated,” she said. “He was the center of our world.”

The candlelight vigil honored the man who helped pave the way for rappers including Stormzy, Skepta and Dave and pop singer-songwriters Jessie J and Ed Sheeran. Jamal Edwards started the online music channel SBTV on YouTube in 2006, when he was a teen.


Brenda Edwards sang “Greatest Love of All” through a megaphone for the gathered crowd Monday night, with others joining to sing along to the tune Whitney Houston made famous.

The music entrepreneur founded the online music channel SBTV as a teenager in 2006 out of frustration over not finding the music he loved online.

“If we can do anything in 2022, can we please bring the community together,” she said, according to the Daily Mail. “Stop the fighting. Stop the killing. And build up our community. We are not supposed to be losing our young people. If you see something happening, try to stop it please.”

Jamal Edwards died — not by violence, but after suffering a “medical emergency” — at his family home the morning after performing a DJ set Saturday night at London club Bubba Oasis, the Daily Mail reported.

“He was a legend, constantly in demand, but he always made time for those who are still trying to make their way, just like us. He generously gave up his time to come here on Saturday night and weave his magic for us all, bringing joy and laughs to everyone in the room,” a Monday post on the club’s Instagram account read. “We were beyond touched that he would support us in this way and will never forget the smiles he brought to everyone.”

“Candles, flowers and Chelsea FC scarves line the mural on Acton Lane to celebrate the music mogul’s life,” journalist Sam Ormiston tweeted from the London neighborhood of Acton. He said he saw “at least 1,000 people” paying tribute to Edwards.

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran announced late last month that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would be giving performances from home.

The mural where the crowd gathered was created in 2021 by London-based artist Matt Small and installed on Acton High Street “in celebration of all that Jamal had achieved at such a young age and in appreciation of all that he did for his local community,” according to the Acton Unframed Instagram account.

“Thinking of the family of Jamal Edwards today,” Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wrote Monday on Twitter. “His work in music but also as an ambassador for a new generation, including his work for The Prince’s Trust, were an inspiration to so many.”

At age 24, Edwards was given an MBE for his work in the music business. He was also an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, founded by Charles.