LL Cool J, Questlove, Q-Tip, Other Stars Mourn Biz Markie's Death: 'More Than Just a Friend'
Hollywood is mourning hip-hop star Biz Markie following the news of his death on Friday.
Markie, born Marcel Theo Hall, died at age 57, his rep confirmed to PEOPLE Friday, though his cause of death has not yet been revealed.
Social media was quickly flooded with tributes to the rap icon, who had a huge hit in the late '80s with the song "Just a Friend" and played a big role in the mainstreaming of rap, including posts from Questlove, Kirk Franklin, E-40 and more.
In a lengthy tribute on Instagram, Questlove wrote, "Biz built me man. In my early early stages it was Biz who taught me the REAL places to cop records."
"He taught me ALOT. Im using ALL the education he taught me," he added later in the caption. "We will miss him. But he will be here forever. Love you Biz."
"R.I.P. Legend @BizMarkie," wrote rapper E-40 on Twitter, sharing a photo of himself with Markie and adding the hashtags "gone but never forgotten," "rip biz markie" and "f—diabetes."
Gospel artist Kirk Franklin tweeted, "'Oh baby YOU…. You got what I need…..' my childhood jam RIP BIZ," while Bootsy Collins wrote, "We lost another Rap legend Mr. Biz Markie, an American rapper, singer, DJ, record producer, actor, comedian, and writer."
"He's best known for his 1989 single 'Just a Friend'!" Collins continued, adding, "To a lot of us he was more than Just a Friend. R.I.P. Prayers going out to the family & friends. Bootsy."
LL Cool J shared a tearful video on Instagram reflecting on memories with Markie from early in their careers.
"Love you, bro and I want to send love to all your fans… to your family, to your wife, management and rest in power bro," he said in part.
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Tamron Hall also shared a photo with Markie, writing, "This man made me laugh, cry, and feel such joy. You will be missed !! The incomparable #bizmarkie Not just a friend, an inspirational soul. Rest In Peace."
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE on Friday, Markie's rep said that he "peacefully passed away" with his wife Tara by his side.
"Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years," the statement said in part. "He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter. We respectfully request privacy for his family as they mourn their loved one."