Benedict Chijioke, a Nigerian-British rapper better known for his nomination for the Mercury Music Prize, has passed away after suffering complications from the COVID-19.


The 47-year-old music producer breathed his last on Thursday while on admission at a UK hospital due to pneumonia after intensive treatment for his COVID-19 had seemed successful in April.

According to Diane Laidlaw, a project organiser, who broke the news via his fundraising page, the London-born hip hop star had been put in an induced coma to help his body receive treatment.

“It’s with sadness that I have to report the passing of Ben Chijioke, better known as TY Chijioke on the 7th May 2020. Close friends, family, and fans are devastated by his death,” she wrote.


“The last update I made was the 19th of April on the GoFundMe page where the community raised 20k for him. Since then TY’s condition had been improving.

“But last week, while on a normal ward, he had contracted pneumonia which worsened his recovery and, ultimately, TY’s body couldn’t fight back anymore. This is a shock to everyone.

“The family would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has reached out and expressed their concern since he was admitted to the hospital. But, right now, they would value their privacy.”


Born in London to an Igbo family, TY was said to have spent many years of his youth growing up with private foster parents in Jaywick, Essex.

He was also said to be one of over 10,000 West African children sent from the inner cities to be fostered by white parents in rural England, whilst their birth parents worked and studied.

With five studio albums, one EP, and several singles to his name, TY earned himself recognition in the music space, working with musicians such as Shortee Blitz, Drew Horley, and Tony Allen.


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