Who was TY? Mercury Prize nominated rapper who died from coronavirus

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RAPPER Ty has sadly died from coronavirus at 47.

Ty was a successful Mercury-nominated rapper.

Rapper Ty is reportedly dead at the age of 47
Getty Images – Getty

Who was rapper Ty?

Ty was a Nigerian British rapper born as Ben Chijioke in London.

He grew up in a strict household and was expected to go down a traditional career path, but he discovered hip-hop and wanted to become an MC.

In 2008 he told the Independent his parents weren’t pleased: “I knew that it was going to happen, but I just continued to do what I did – they just made me do it in secret.”

He found work as a sound engineer and began recording music in the mid-90s and hosted a hip-hop night called Lyrical Lounge.

He appeared on tracks by DJ Pogo and IG Culture’s New Sector Movement.

Rapper Ty has died of coronavirus
Getty Images – Getty

On Thursday May 7, he passed away after experiencing complications with coronavirus.

While in recovery he contracted pneumonia, making his death even more shocking.

In April a GoFundMe page created for Ty said he had been “admitted into the hospital with medical complications related to COVID19”  and “put in a medically induced coma to temporarily sedate”.

On April 19 it was updated to say he was “doing much better” and was no longer in intensive care.

Shocking the page’s latest update said: “It is with much 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 of his death.

“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”.

What songs did he sing?

In 2001 he released his debut album, Awkward which reached number 40 on the UK Independent Albums Chart.

His next album titled Upwards was what brought him critical acclaim – it features the songs ‘Ha Ha’, ‘Wait A Minute’ and ‘The Willing’.

It got him a Mercury Prize nomination up against Amy Winehouse, The Streets and Franz Ferdinand (who took home the prize).

The album was influenced by Afro-funk, Jamaican dub and Latin shuffles.


After this he recorded 3 more albums – he latest work was released in 2018 and called A Word of Heart.

During his career he collaborated with a plethora of artists and fellow rappers such as Ghetts and Roots Manuva have taken to social media to pay their respects for the late musician.