Biz Markie dead at 57: LL Cool J, Tamron Hall, Pharrell, Bootsy Collins & more pay tearful tributes to rap pioneer

Biz Markie dead at 57: LL Cool J, Tamron Hall, Pharrell, Bootsy Collins and more pay tearful tributes to the iconic rap pioneer.

"It is with profound sadness that we announce, this evening, with his wife Tara by his side, Hip Hop pioneer Biz Markie peacefully passed away. We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time," the rep said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

"Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years. He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter.

We respectfully request privacy for his family as they mourn their loved one."

Dimond Shell wrote about his late brother: "To the baddest in the beats icon legend…my brother Biz Markie…I'll miss you more than words."

Biz' wife, Tara Davis, mentioned: "You can only imagine what kind of Dad Biz is… fun, fun, fun! Happy Father’s Day @officialbizmarkie ..and to all the Loving Fathers out there…keep making memories. They mean so much to us right now…until we can make more. And as always, thank you for your kind messages, phone calls, video messages and prayers. Biz loves them and is still in it to win it"

Flea from the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers tweeted: "All of my love to the one of a kind bringer of love and joy, the great Biz Markie. I will bang his records til the day I die and my heart will rejoice. I love you Biz."

Bootsy Collins said: "We lost another Rap legend Mr. Biz Markie, an American rapper, singer, DJ, record producer, actor, comedian, and writer. He's best known for his 1989 single "Just a Friend"! To a lot of us he was more than Just a Friend. R.I.P. Prayers going out to the family & friends."

QTip wrote: "This one hurts baad … RIP to my Aries bro… ahhh man @BizMarkie damn im gonna miss u so so many memories.. hurts bad. My FRIEND."

The Immortal Technique stated: "Travel safe OG. Rest in Power to the legend Biz Markie. Love & Respect."

Tamron Hall added: "Rest In Peace. This man made my laugh, cry, and feel such joy. You will be missed !! The incomparable #bizmarkie Not just a friend, an inspirational soul."

Evelyn Lozada said: "RIP #BizMarkie – A true legend"

Rapper Kid Capri stated: "I lost my brother,,,, for the first time, I am at a lost of words,, I don’t even want to post this, my heart is hurting right now, majorly, rest well legend @officialbizmarkie this is crazy."

LL Cool J said: "Rest in power Biz. I love you bro."

Michael Rapaport chimed in: "It doesn’t get anymore HIP HOP then this. Biz & Shante."

More to follow…

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