What is SBTV? YouTube channel and app explained after owner Jamal Edwards’ death - and what does it stand for

31-year-old Jamal Edwards died after battling a “sudden illness”

Jamal Edwards at the Burberry Womenswear Show in 2016 (Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Burberry)Jamal Edwards at the Burberry Womenswear Show in 2016 (Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Burberry)
Jamal Edwards at the Burberry Womenswear Show in 2016 (Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Burberry)

The UK music scene is mourning a loss after it was announced that YouTuber and music pioneer Jamal Edwards died at the age of 31.

Jamal was instrumental in the career of acts such as Jessie J, Emeli Sande, Dave and Ed Sheeran.

He created a mainstream space for hip hop and grime music in particular with his SB.TV YouTube channel.

But what is SB.TV and why was it so important?

What is SB.TV?

SB.TV is a YouTube channel created by Jamal in November 2006.

SB stands for “smokey bars”.

The channel featured amatuer footage of now well-known British grime and rap artists such as Dizzee Rascal and Tinchy Stryder freestyling, as well as interviews with people within the industry.

A few years after its inception, the channel hosted live performances from acts such as Ed Sheeran, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj in the early days of their success.

In later years, interviews with politicians such as David Cameron, and had built a relationship with the Royal Family.

The YouTube channel was a huge success with younger audiences in particular, often garnering higher views in this demographic than ITV.

Who is Jamal Edwards?

Jamal was a talented entrepreneur and music pioneer who created SB.TV when he just was just a teenager.

By 2014, Jamal has amassed a fortune of around £8million and was appointed an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust.

As a result of his work he was awarded an MBE in 2014.

He is also the son of Loose Women panelist Brenda Edwards.

Jamal was confirmed to have died at age 31 after a “sudden illness”.

Who has paid tribute to Jamal Edwards?

Brenda, Jamal’s mum, issued a heartbreaking statement regarding the death of her well-loved son.

She said: “It is with the deepest heartache that I confirm that my beautiful son Jamal Edwards passed away yesterday morning after a sudden illness. Myself, his sister Tanisha, and the rest of his family and friends are completely devastated. He was the centre of our world.

“As we come to terms with his passing, we asked for privacy to grieve this unimaginable loss. I would like to thank everyone for their messages of love and support.

“Jamal was an inspiration to myself and so many. Our love for him lives on, his legacy lives on. Long live Jamal Edwards MBE, MBA, PhD.”

Alongside a touching tribute from his mum, there has been an outpouring of mourning from those he touched during his short life.

Comedian Mo Gilligan called Jamal a “truly humble and blessed soul”, while awards organisation MOBO tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Jamal Edwards passing. As the founder of @SBTVonline, his groundbreaking work and legacy in British music and culture will live on.

“Our hearts and thoughts are with his friends and family.”

Chelsea FC, who Jamal was a lifelong fan of, also paid tribute to the entrepreneur, saying: We’re deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jamal Edwards. An inspiration to many, we’re honoured that he was part of our Chelsea family.”

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