Lil Tay alive: Rapper confirms Instagram death post was a hoax and says she and brother are 'safe and alive'
A post appeared on the teen star’s social media page claiming her and her brother had both died - but it’s not true
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Social media star and rapper Lil Tay has confirmed that she and her brother are both ‘safe and alive’, hours after a post was uploaded to her Instagram account claiming they were both dead.
In a statement provided to American news outlet TMZ from Tay's family, the 15-year-old said: "I want to make it clear that my brother and I are safe and alive, but I’m completely heartbroken, and struggling to even find the right words to say. It’s been a very traumatising 24 hours. All day yesterday, I was bombarded with endless heartbreaking and tearful phone calls from loved ones all while trying to sort out this mess."
In the statement, Lil Tay also said that the hoax post named her as Claire Hope, but said this is not her real name at all and also explained that her account had been hacked. She said: "My Instagram account was compromised by a 3rd party and used to spread jarring misinformation and rumours regarding me, to the point that even my name was wrong. My legal name is Tay Tian, not "Claire Hope.” The hoax post, which appeared on Lil Tay’s official Instagram account on Wednesday (9 August) has now been removed.
Tay also thanked Meta, who owns the social media site, for helping to get her Instagram account back. It is unknown why it took her over 24 hours to let her fans know she was actually alive and well, but confusion has been swirling since the now deleted death announcement post appeared on the account on Wednesday morning. This is because Lil Tay’s account hadn’t been used, up until that point, since 2018 and it also emerged that police had no official record of her supposed death, or that of her brother.
The original fake post read: “The statement said: "It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire's sudden and tragic passing. We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain.
"This outcome was entirely unexpected and has left us all in shock. Her brother's passing adds an even more unimaginable depth to our grief. During this time of immense sorrow, we kindly ask for privacy as we grieve this overwhelming loss, as the circumstances surrounding Claire and her brother's passing are still under investigation. Claire will forever remain in our hearts, her absence leaving an irreplaceable void that will be felt by all who knew and loved her."
It is not known who was behind the post or why they hacked in to Lil Tay's account and uploaded the fake death announcement.
Lil Tay first shot to fame on Instagram when she was just nine-years-old. She became known for rapping, using foul language and also showing off stacks of cash and boasting about her wealth. She was called the "world's youngest flexer" and gained 3.5 million followers on Instagram, despite only uploading 16 posts. She had not been active on social media since 2018, however, with TMZ reporting in 2020 that her parents were engaged in a custody battle.