Teen rapper and viral internet personality Lil Tay, who was born Claire Hope, has died at the age of 14.
The news was announced in a statement posted on Lil Tay’s Instagram account, which described her passing as “sudden and tragic” as well as “entirely unexpected. “It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing,” reads the statement posted Wednesday (Aug. 9). “We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain. This outcome was entirely unexpected, and has left us all in shock.”
According to the statement, Lil Tay’s brother has also passed away. “Her brother’s passing adds an even more unimaginable depth to our grief,” it continues, not mentioning his name. “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.”
The self-labeled “youngest flexer of the century,” Lil Tay shot to fame in 2017.
The internet star was a shock value-driven meme machine who often went viral online for her brash statements and bold personality. In one video from 2018, for instance, she cussed out her haters and showed her more than 3 million Instagram followers that she, in spite of being too young to have a drivers license, owned a luxury car — kicking a dent in the side of the vehicle to prove that she’d bought it, rather than renting it.
She was also known for her friendship with fellow social media star Woah Vicky, as well as her participation in on-camera feuds with YouTuber RiceGum and another viral sensation-turned-rapper, Bhad Babie.
See the statement announcing Lil Tay and her brother’s deaths below: