Jamal Edwards died after taking recreational drugs, says his mother

Loose Women panellist Brenda Edwards says she was in ‘state of shock’ after finding out how son died

The music entrepreneur and YouTube star Jamal Edwards died from arrhythmia as a result of taking recreational drugs, his mother has said.

Edwards, who helped launch the careers of Dave and Ed Sheeran, died in February aged 31. Brenda Edwards, a singer and Loose Women panellist, said in a statement on Tuesday she was in a “state of shock” after finding out how he died.

“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.

“Since finding out the news I’ve been in a state of shock, and I am still trying to process it. But it’s so important to me that I do address it as no mother or any loved one should have to go through what Jamal’s sister, Tanisha, and I have been through since he passed.”

The 53-year-old released the statement on Twitter and Instagram after an inquest into her son’s death was held at west London coroner’s court.

The coroner, Catherine Wood, said Jamal Edwards “came home late one evening after work and he became increasingly agitated and suffered a cardiac arrest, and was deteriorating despite treatment”.

She said after a postmortem she had “reason to suspect the death is an unnatural death”.

Brenda Edwards said she was “incredibly touched” by the outpouring of love and support the family had received after Jamal’s death. “You are all helping us try to get through the unimaginable,” she said.

She described her son as having had the “world at his fingertips – a zest for life and he was unwittingly taken away far too soon”.

“Yet we have to come to terms with what has happened, and Jamal is proof that this can happen to anyone.

Brenda Edwards on Loose Women.
Brenda Edwards: ‘I would do anything to have my son back.’ Photograph: Ken McKay/ITV/Rex/Shutterstock

“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. His passing has shown that any one bad decision on any one occasion can lead to devastating consequences.”

She stressed the importance of helping to “drive more conversation” about the unpredictability of recreational drugs and their impact – “how it takes just one bad reaction to destroy lives”.

“I would do anything to have my son back but that is just not possible so if I can help save one life, then we will have achieved something,” she said.

The inquest heard that Jamal Edwards died on 20 February after having a cardiac arrest at his mother’s home in Acton, west London. It was adjourned to be resumed in eight weeks’ time.

He found fame after setting up the music platform SBTV in 2006, and was credited with helping to launch a string of UK music acts to stardom. 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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His mother’s statement said: “I’m so incredibly proud of everything he achieved over the course of his 31 years; I’m so proud to call him my son.”

Several of her Loose Women co-panellists, including Jane Moore and Judi Love, left messages of support in response to the statement.

“This must have been so painful for you to write,” wrote Nadia Sawalha. “Very brave. Sending love to you and your incredible children. This changes nothing. [Jamal] achieved so much. He was a damn fine man.”


Nadia Khomami Arts and culture correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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