Too often, many celebrities go viral after news regarding their passing has gone viral. In many cases, those rumors are untrue, and Biz Markie seems to be the latest victim of gossip that spread like wildfire. On Wednesday (June 30) evening, tragic news regarding the alleged death of the beloved “Just a Friend” icon began to circulate, and soon, news outlets were reporting that the 57-year-old rapper had passed away. 

However, within an hour, those close to Markie surfaced online to condemn the rumors while offering updates about his health. “Folks, @BizMarkie has NOT died,” tweeted journalist Roland Martin. “I have been in contact with sources who are texting and talking to his wife.”

Biz Markie
Jamie McCarthy / Staff / Getty Images

“My source talked to Biz TODAY,” Martin continued. “Per his wife, Biz HAS NOT passed away. Please stop responding to non-credible sources. This hurts the family, friends and fans.” Not long after these tweets were fired off, news outlets began deleting their articles about Biz Markie’s death. After a Twitter user stated that Martin spoke with Markie directly, Martin returned to clarify.

“No, I did not talk to @BizMarkie today. My source, an industry legend, did. And my source was texting his wife ONE MINUTE before I sent the tweet. Biz’s wife have me permission to send the tweet correcting this erroneous story,” he said. Later, an official statement was released by the rapper’s loved ones.

The statement reads:

“The news of Biz Markie’s passing is not true. Biz is still under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best healthcare possible. Biz’s wife and family are touched by the outpouring of love and admiration from his friends, peers and fans alike. At this time, we ask for your continued thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Last July, the rapper was reportedly hospitalized for weeks following a stroke, and later, his rep came forward to deny rumors that Markie was in a coma. We wish nothing but the best for Biz Markie. Read through the posts below.