Rapper and Influencer Lil Tay Dead at 14 in ‘Sudden and Tragic Passing’: Family


The internet personality went viral in 2018 for sharing sensationalized videos on Instagram

<p>Lil Tay/Instagram</p> Lil Tay

Lil Tay/Instagram

Lil Tay

The rapper and influencer Lil Tay has died at age 14.

On Wednesday, a statement was shared on the Instagram account of the internet personality — born Claire Hope — announcing her death. It was then confirmed to Variety by her management.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing,” the statement shared to Hope’s 3.3 million followers said. “We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain. This outcome was entirely unexpected, and has left us all in shock.”

<p>Lil Tay/Instagram</p> Lil Tay

Lil Tay/Instagram

Lil Tay

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The post made by her family shared that her brother, Jason Tian, also died. The cause of death is “still under investigation,” according to the statement.

The Instagram continued, “Her brother’s passing adds an even more unimaginable depth to our grief. During this time of immense sorrow, we kindly ask for privacy as we grieve this overwhelming loss, as the circumstances surrounding Claire and her brother’s passing are still under investigation.”

“Claire will forever remain in our hearts, her absence leaving an irreplaceable void that will be felt by all who knew and loved her,” the post said.

Lil Tay went viral in 2018 at age 9 for posting sensationalized videos on Instagram of herself rapping and using many expletives about living a lavish lifestyle. Called the “youngest flexer of the century,” the Canadian perfomer was known for recording videos with rappers like Chief Keef and XXXTentacion, and garnered a great deal of criticism for appropriating hip-hop culture and using the N-word.

As New York‘s The Cut reported in 2019, Tay’s brother Jason, starting at age 16, orchestrated much of her social media presence. The pair, as well as their mother Angela Tian, were said to have caused a great deal of “confusion” in the industry at the time by “taking meetings and discussing deals without signing any contracts.”

Her Instagram had not been active since June 2018, with the last post being a tribute to XXXTentacion following his death. “As a father figure, when I don’t have one, you were here,” she wrote.

Not long after the “Money Way” singer went viral, she became embroiled in a custody battle between parents Angela Tian and Christopher Hope in late 2018, per The Daily Beast. She was ordered by the court to return to Vancouver and into her father’s custody.

“He just came back because he wants money,” Tay told The Daily Beast.

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Christopher then denied the allegations to HollywoodLife, saying, “Everyone else involved in this situation is motivated by money and the possibility of making money off of my daughter. I am not fighting about money; I am fighting for my daughter – for her happiness and her future.”

It’s unclear where Lil Tay was currently residing.

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