Jamal Edwards died of heart attack after using cocaine, coroner finds

YouTube star who helped launch careers of Ed Sheeran, Dave and Skepta died in February aged 31

The music entrepreneur Jamal Edwards died from a heart attack after taking cocaine and drinking alcohol, a coroner has concluded.

Edwards, a YouTube star who helped launch the careers of Ed Sheeran, Dave and Skepta, died in February aged 31.

An inquest held at the west London coroner’s court on Tuesday concluded that the cause of death was drug-related.

The assistant coroner, Ivor Collett, said there was evidence of cocaine toxicity in Edwards’ body, as well as the presence of alcohol, which probably caused his death after he returned home from performing a DJ set in Islington in the early hours of 20 February.

The coroner’s reported added: “After drinking some alcohol with a friend, his behaviour changed and became erratic and he appeared paranoid, before he collapsed and became unconscious. Attempts at resuscitation failed and life was declared extinct at 10.36.”

Edwards’ mother, Brenda Edwards, a singer and Loose Women panellist, described him as “a beautiful and selfless person” in a statement read to the inquest.

She added: “Since growing up with his family in Acton he made it his personal mission to open doors for others to walk through. To help people through life, to love and to laugh. And most importantly, to just make people happy.”

She revealed in June that her son’s death was drug-related, saying in a statement that she was in a “state of shock” about the circumstances.

“I have sadly learned that the cause of Jamal’s devastating passing was due to cardiac arrhythmia,” she said. “[This was] caused by having taken recreational drugs and I wanted to address this myself to everyone who loved, admired and respected my son.”

Brenda Edwards said she hoped publicising the circumstances of her son’s death might prevent other families suffering a similar loss.

“These types of substances are extremely unpredictable, and we can only hope that this will encourage others to think wisely when faced with similar situations in the future,” she said. “His passing has shown that any one bad decision on any one occasion can lead to devastating consequences.”

Edwards, who founded the pioneering online music platform SBTV in 2006, was credited with helping to launch the careers of a string of UK music stars, including Stormzy and Jessie J. He was also an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity led by the Prince of Wales, and in 2014 was made an MBE for his services to music.

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In February, Sheeran led tributes to Edwards, writing on Instagram: “Jamal is my brother. His light shone so bright. He only used it to illuminate others and never asked for anything in return.

“I would not be here without him, professionally and personally. There will never be anything close to what he is, but I’m so grateful to have existed within his orbit.”


David Batty

The GuardianTramp