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Dave pays tribute to Jamal Edwards at huge London show

"He gave me an opportunity when no-one would"

By Will Richards

A comp photo of Dave and Jamal Edwards
Dave. (Picture: Press); Jamal Edwards. (Picture: Alamy)

Dave played a huge show at London’s The O2 last night (February 28), and paid tribute to the late Jamal Edwards while on stage.

The SB.TV founder passed away from a “sudden illness” last month. He helped launch the career of many now-huge UK stars, including Dave.

“Jamal Edwards is the reason I’m standing in front of you guys here today,” Dave told the crowd at The 02. “There’s so many different emotions that all of us feel – all of us that were so connected to him in so many different ways.

“We all have a different experience to him, but we all have so many things in common with the experience. And he’s one person in the world that just wanted to help, that just wanted to see every single person that he touched shine.”

Going on to discuss how Edwards paid for Dave’s earliest music videos as he couldn’t afford to produce them himself, the rapper added: “He gave me an opportunity when no-one would,” and paid for the videos “out of the love and kindness of his heart”.

“Every single thing that I have today – we have today – we owe to Jamal Edwards… I want to say I’m so, so, so grateful for you, brother. Jamal, I love you, I love you, I love you.”

Edwards’ online video platform helped launch the careers of a number of major artists, Sheeran included. Beginning with grime, but branching out into other genres, Edwards built SBTV as a teenager, and over the years filmed and posted content from artists like Stormzy, Jessie J, Krept & Konan, Rita Ora, Emeli Sandé and Bugzy Malone.

He also interviewed the likes of Drake and Nicki Minaj for the channel, and would branch out into the fashion world as well as be honoured with an MBE for his philanthropic work

Ed Sheeran was among those to pay an emotional tribute to the late SBTV founder. On Instagram, he posted an old photograph of the pair together, wearing matching ‘The Grime University’ hoodies. In the caption, Sheeran wrote: “I haven’t posted anything coz I can’t find the words, I can’t reply coz I don’t know what to say. Jamal is my brother. His light shone so bright. He only used it to illuminate others and never asked for anything in return.”