Editor’s note: Lil Tay’s Instagram account was hacked and she and her brother are still alive and well, according to a statement from the rapper. We sincerely apologize for our error.
Viral social media personality Lil Tay, whose real name was Claire Eileen Qi Hope, has died at the age of 14.
Sudden and tragic passing: The young influencer’s death was confirmed by her representatives in a statement posted on her Instagram account on Wednesday.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing,” the statement read. “We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain.”
The statement also revealed the death of Lil Tay’s brother, Jason Tian. The cause of their untimely deaths remains undisclosed as the incident is reportedly still under investigation.
Controversial content: Lil Tay was 9 years old when she rose to online fame in 2018, claiming to be “the youngest flexer of the century.” She is often seen flaunting wads of cash and making audacious claims of wealth in her controversial videos. At the height of her popularity, Lil Tay’s Instagram account amassed over 3.3 million followers. Her larger-than-life persona sparked criticism and accusations of exploitation by her family.
Away from the spotlight: Following the controversies, she later made an appearance with her mother, Angela Tian, on “Good Morning America” in May 2018. It was later discovered that Tian lost her job as a real estate agent in Vancouver, Canada, after allowing her daughter to shoot videos in her clients’ homes — under the pretense that she owned them — that she was supposed to be selling.
In the last five years, Lil Tay had mostly stayed away from the spotlight and been absent from social media. Despite the controversies that surrounded her online presence, commenters expressed their sadness about her death.
This story is still developing.