Lil Tay is speaking out about her death hoax, calling the August 2023 reports that she had died after her social media accounts were hacked “traumatizing.”

In her first interview since she was reported dead, the social media star spoke to Rolling Stone on November 13, 2023, about rebranding as a singer and musician in the wake of the hoax.

She also refuted allegations she had been exploited by family members, saying, “I am the one who has always wanted to become famous.”

Here’s everything we know about Lil Tay’s death hoax, her parents’ custody battle, and where she is today.

What Did the Death Hoax Statement Say?

A shocking statement seemingly on behalf of rapper and social media creator Lil Tay’s family was released on August 9, 2023, announcing that the 14-year-old and her brother had died.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing,” Lil Tay’s family appeared to announce via her Instagram account. “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.”

Reports began to surface in the following hours that the rapper was not dead, but that her social media account was hacked and a faulty death statement was released. Fans and followers alike began searching for an explanation.

Is Lil Tay Alive?

Lil Tay is “safe and alive” despite the initial death announcement seemingly released on behalf of her family.

A picture of Lil Tay standing in front of a red car
Courtesy of Lil Tay/Instagram

According to a family statement offered one day after the startling news, Lil Tay wanted to “make it clear” that she and her brother were alright.

“I’m completely heartbroken, and struggling to even find the right words to say,” the influencer told TMZ. “It’s been a very traumatizing 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.”

Was Lil Tay’s Social Media Hacked?

After the stunning report about Lil Tay’s alleged death, the rapper clarified in her statement to TMZ that her social media was hacked and the faulty announcement was subsequently released.

“My Instagram account was compromised by a third party and used to spread jarring misinformation and rumors regarding me, to the point that even my name was wrong,” Lil Tay clarified. “My legal name is Tay Tian, not ‘Claire Hope.’”

The original Instagram announcement has since been deleted.

Did Lil Tay’s Brother Die?

The initial news claimed that both Lil Tay and her brother, Jason Tian, had died, as it read, “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.”

However, according to Lil Tay’s statement to TMZ, both she and her brother are alive.

When asked about claims that her brother was involved in the death hoax, or that it was fabricated to promote her music, she brushed off the suggestions.

“If you want to make conspiracy theories, I can’t stop you,” she said in a November 2023 interview with Rolling Stone.

When Did Lil Tay Return to Instagram?

After the account had been inactive since June 2018, an official statement was released to Lil Tay’s Instagram account on August 18, 2023 to address questions about Lil Tay’s wellbeing.

MacLean Law, the family law attorneys for Lil Tay’s mother, Angela Tian, provided a status update on legal proceedings related to the teen star, including custody, child parenting and child support.

According to the statement, MacLean Law had “successfully obtained orders for [Angela] that have enabled her daughter to advance her career.” Orders included retroactive child support owed by Lil Tay’s father amounting to approximately $275,000, as well as ongoing monthly child support from him. Angela was assigned as Lil Tay’s sole guardian.

After the statement was released, Lil Tay began posting regularly on Instagram, providing updates on everything from her music career to her family’s court proceedings.

What Are Lil Tay’s Parents Accused Of?

Lil Tay rose to social media fame at just 9 years old in 2017. On Instagram, she has more than 5 million followers, and is known for her viral content that depicts her as “the youngest flexer of the century.”

However, amid her rise to fame, parents Christoper Hope and Angela Tian were embroiled in a custody battle and her father has gone as far as speaking out about his daughter’s influence.

“When my daughter’s social media began to go viral this year, I disagreed with most of the social media activity,” the father of two said in 2018. “I took legal steps to stop things which I felt were dangerous to her physical and mental health and to her future. 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.”

After the initial report of his daughter’s death hit the headlines, Christoper reportedly declined to comment.

In an October 6, 2023 Instagram post, Lil Tay and Angela posed together holding fanned bills of cash, with the caption, “5 years in court and WE won.” The post continued, “My mom spent her life savings fighting for my life against my abusive, misogynistic and racist father. Now I’M BACK.” The caption concluded by talking about the teen’s growing music career, which she said “wouldn’t be possible without [her] mom and brother.”

Where Is Lil Tay Now?

In an October 15, 2023 Instagram post, Lil Tay wrote, “My abusive misogynistic father swatter and is threatening to sue me.”

She continued that the legal threat prevented her from promoting her song, “Sucker 4 Green,” for two weeks; however, the song was still trending in the wake of her absence.

​Speaking to Rolling Stone in November 2023, Lil Tay was adamant that she was the only member of her family who wanted her to be famous. However, a source who worked with her suspects otherwise, saying of her demeanor, “She just seems kind of numb. Like, not there.”

Lil Tay admitted in the interview that her abrasive persona is just one side of her character.

“It’s all about context,” she told Rolling Stone. “If you were talking ​s—t to my face, l’d be talking ​s—t​ to your face right now.”

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