Jamal Edwards: Loose Women's Brenda Edwards warns of dangers of drugs after inquest opens into death of her Luton-born music mogul son

The mother of Jamal Edwards, the Luton-born founder of influential music channel SBTV, has spoken out after an inquest revealed the 31 year old had died after taking recreational drugs.

By Lynn Hughes
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 5:41 pm
Jamal Edwards at the Luton Best in 2021
Jamal Edwards at the Luton Best in 2021

On Tuesday morning, Brenda Edwards posted a lengthy statement on her Instagram page, confirming Jamal had died after suffering “cardiac arrhythmia caused by having taken recreational drugs”.

The Loose Women panellist and X Factor finalist said: “We have been incredibly touched by the outpouring of love and support, and you are all helping us try and get through the unimaginable.

“Since I last spoke, I have sadly learned that the cause of Jamal’s devastating passing was due to cardiac arrhythmia 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’m 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.

“Jamal 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 happened, and Jamal is proof that this can happen to anyone.

“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.

“It’s so important that we help drive more conversation about the unpredictability of recreational drugs and the impact that they can have. How it just takes 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.”

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Tributes paid to Luton-born music mogul Jamal Edwards

Brenda announced she would be forming The Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust, to “help those in need, placing a special emphasis on the mental wellbeing of its service users”.

“Out of his many, many wonderful qualities the one that made me most proud was his mission to help others – he was the most selfless person I knew.

“He opened the doors to let others walk through and from Jamal’s experiences in life he just wanted to help people thrive; to live; to connect; to love; to laugh, and most importantly, to just be happy.

“Jamal inspired so many – working tirelessly to unite and give a platform to countless people and communities across the UK, and something I know for certain is that the impact he had on those lives will live on. I’m so incredibly proud of everything we achieved over the course of his 31 years; I’m so proud to call him my son.

“That’s why, with the recently launched Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust, we will continue to not only honour his name but help those in need, placing a special emphasis on the mental wellbeing of its service users.

“The Trust is in place to help provide a sense of community for young people, offering a safe space of their own to help develop their skills and explore who they are. Through that we will continue to preserve Jamal’s incredible legacy by continuing the positive change he had on the lives of so many.”

“In Jamal’s own words, ‘the goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will’. My beautiful son, you did that and then some.”

Jamal, who was one of the youngest ever recipients of an MBE, for services to music, helped launch the careers of stars such as Dave, Ed Sheeran and Skepta.

In 2021 he was the guest of honour at Luton's Best Awards.

The founder and chief executive officer of SBTV, he began uploading rap freestyle clips he recorded of his friends performing on the estate where he lived at the age of 15. His amateur footage included artists such as Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Chipmunk and Tinchy Stryder.

Jamal launched the music and youth broadcasting channel in 2006. The company has now incorporated more genres of music and this led to working with acoustic artists such as Ed Sheeran and other popular artists such as Jessie J, Emeli Sande, The Wanted and Pixie Lott. In February 2011, SBTV launched its own music label, Just Jam.

Speaking about his award in 2014 Jamal, who was also an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, said: "I’m honoured to be one of the youngest people awarded with an MBE. Never in a million years did I ever think I would receive such an accolade. "For me this is about us, the youth, with so much negativity around us, it’s hard sometimes to stay positive and fight for your dreams."

After his death in February 20, Love Luton said: "The Love Luton organisation is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jamal Edwards MBE. A truly humble and passionate Lutonian who always had time to support and inspire local causes and people. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

Luton BID added: "We’re deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Jamal Edwards MBE. A proud Lutonian trailblazer who continued to advocate for local community causes. An inspiration to all who will be deeply missed. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this sad time."

An inquest into his death, which opened in West London today (Tuesday, June 7) has been adjourned for eight weeks.