August 10, 2:07 p.m. update: Lil Tay has announced that she is “alive and safe” following the false death report released on August 9, claiming that her social media “was compromised by a third party and used to spread jarring misinformation and rumors.” 

Social media star and rapper Lil Tay has died at the age of 14, her family confirmed.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing,” Lil Tay – whose real name was Claire Hope – wrote in a statement shared via her Instagram account on Wednesday, August 9. “We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain.”

The statement continued, “This outcome was entirely unexpected, and has left us all in shock.”

The family then revealed that her brother, Jason Tian, also died. “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,” they wrote.

“Claire will forever remain in our hearts, her absence leaving an irreplaceable void that will be felt by all who knew and loved her,” the statement concluded.

Shortly after news of Lil Tay and Jason’s death was announced, fans rushed to social media to express their condolences. “Way too young smh this s–t is so sad,” one person wrote. Another fan added, “That’s tragic, I was hoping she could change her legacy in some way. Rip.”

It is not currently clear how Lil Tay or Jason died.

Lil Tay was best known for her viral content online, which included spoof clips of herself holding a stack of cash to her ear on YouTube. She previously crowned herself as “the youngest flexer of the century” as she rose to fame at the age of 9 in 2017.

Her content was met with controversy, with many social media users condemning her use of slurs including the N-word. Despite the backlash, she managed to have over 3.3 million Instagram followers at the time of her death.

Back in 2018, Lil Tay issued a public apology in light of her decision to use derogatory language in her videos. “I really apologize to everyone I offended…I’m not racist at all,” she said during an episode of her reality series Life with Tay. The short-lived show streamed on the Zeus Network for only one season.

Lil Tay’s Family Confirms ‘Sudden’ Death of Rapper and Influencer at Age 14
Courtesy of Lil Tay/Instagram

She and Jason are survived by their father, Christopher J. Hope, and their mother, Angela Tian.

Chris previously spoke about his daughter’s rise to fame in 2018. “When my daughter’s social media began to go viral this year, I disagreed with most of the social media activity. I took legal steps to stop things which I felt were dangerous to her physical and mental health and to her future,” he said at the time. “I do not think a 10-year-old girl should be put in those situations and made to drop out of school so that she can make money for other people. Everyone else involved in this situation is motivated by money and the possibility of making money off of my daughter.”

“I am not fighting about money; I am fighting for my daughter, for her happiness, and her future,” he added.

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