Teen internet rapper “Lil Tay” dies, leaving fans in mourning

Lil Tay

LOS ANGELES: Claire Hope, the young Canadian internet rapper widely recognised as Lil Tay, has tragically passed away, as confirmed by her management in a statement.

In a poignant announcement shared on Lil Tay’s Instagram page with a following of 3.3 million, Hope’s family conveyed the heartbreaking news of her untimely demise, also mentioning about the death of her brother. The statement did not share details of her brother’s name or age but social media users named him as Jason, 16.

“With heavy hearts, we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing,” the family stated. “Words cannot convey the overwhelming loss and indescribable pain we are experiencing. This turn of events was completely unexpected, leaving us all in a state of shock. The loss of her brother only deepens our sorrow. During this time of profound grief, we ask for privacy as we navigate through this immense loss. The circumstances surrounding Claire and her brother’s passing are currently under investigation. Claire will forever remain in our hearts, her absence creating an irreplaceable void that will be felt by all who cherished her.”

Lil Tay’s most recent post on Instagram dates back to June 2018, Variety said.

At just 9 years old, Lil Tay soared to viral stardom as a social media influencer. Branded as the “youngest flexer of the century,” she gained notoriety for her profanity-laden Instagram videos showcasing an opulent hip-hop lifestyle. Among her videos, she boasted about purchasing a $200,000 sports car despite lacking a driver’s license. Standing atop a Beverly Hills vantage point, she boldly proclaimed, “I run LA.” Lil Tay was associated with prominent rappers like Chief Keef and XXXTentacion, referring to the latter as a “father figure” in a 2018 Instagram post. Despite the attention, she drew criticism for her use of a racial slur, later apologizing to those she had offended. In 2018, her journey to fame was documented in a three-part series titled “Life With Lil Tay.”

After disappearing from the online realm for five years, Lil Tay became embroiled in a custody dispute between her parents. During this period, troubling allegations concerning her family circumstances and safety emerged online. In June 2018, Lil Tay’s Instagram was purged, leaving only the cryptic message “help me” on her story.

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Several months later, an alleged hack on her Instagram account led to a string of abuse allegations against her father, Christopher Hope. The allegations contended that Hope had coerced Lil Tay’s return to Canada through a court order, driven by the motive of profiting from her earnings. Lil Tay’s then-manager, Harry Tsang, dismissed these claims as fabrications in a 2018 interview with The Daily Beast.

During a joint phone interview with her mother, Angela Tian, Lil Tay revealed, “I’m in a difficult situation right now and I don’t want to discuss these matters,” further stating that her father had pursued legal action claiming her safety was at risk. She critiqued her father’s intentions, stating, “He was threatening to have my mom arrested if we didn’t return… He had been absent for many years. He only came back because he wants money.”

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