Jamal Edwards died of cardiac arrest after cocaine use, coroner rules

The young entrepreneur collapsed on February 20th after working on a DJ set in Islington, north London
Jamal Edwards died of cardiac arrest after cocaine use, coroner rules

Rebecca Speare-Cole, PA

Music entrepreneur Jamal Edwards’ cause of death was cardiac arrest after taking cocaine, a coroner has ruled.

The DJ, who found fame after setting up the music platform SBTV in 2006, died on February 20th at the age of 31.

His behaviour became “erratic” and he “appeared paranoid” after he returned home from playing a DJ set in Islington, north London, at about 4.30am, West London Coroner’s Court heard on Tuesday.

Assistant coroner Ivor Collett concluded the cause of death was drug-related.

Jamal Edwards
Jamal Edwards (Lauren Hurley/PA)

The record of inquest, released after the hearing, said: “After drinking some alcohol with a friend, his behaviour changed and became erratic and he appeared paranoid, before he collapsed and became unconscious.

“Attempts at resuscitation failed and life was declared extinct at 10.36am at 2 Highfield Road, London.

“Sampling established recent cocaine use, causing cocaine toxicity and resulting cardiac arrhythmia.”

Edwards, who was the son of musician and Loose Women host Brenda Edwards, helped to launch a string of UK music acts to stardom, including Ed Sheeran, Dave and Jessie J.

He was also an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity headed by Britain's Prince Charles, and in 2014 was awarded an MBE for his services to music.

Jamal Edwards with his MBE
Jamal Edwards with his MBE (John Stillwell/PA)

The inquest, which began in June, had previously heard that Edwards died due to “cardiac arrhythmia caused by having taken recreational drugs”.

His mother said it is important to “help drive more conversation about the unpredictability of recreational drugs”.

She thanked everyone for the support the family had received after his death, saying: “We have been so incredibly touched by the outpouring of love and support, and you are all helping us try and get through the unimaginable.

“Since I last spoke, I have sadly learned that the cause of Jamal’s devastating passing was due to cardiac arrhythmia caused by having taken recreational drugs, and I wanted to address this myself to everyone who loved, admired and respected my son.

Brenda Edwards
Brenda Edwards (Ian West/PA)

“Since finding out the news I’ve been in a state of shock, and I’m still trying to process it, but it’s so important to me that I do address it, as no mother or any loved one should have to go through what Jamal’s sister Tanisha and I have been through since he passed.”

In February, Sheeran led tributes to Edwards, writing on Instagram: “Jamal is my brother. His light shone so bright. He only used it to illuminate others and never asked for anything in return.

“A stars light shines for millions of years after they go, and his will continue to light up every dark moment, we are all witnessing his power.

“I would not be here without him, professionally and personally.

“There will never be anything close to what he is, but I’m so grateful to have existed within his orbit. My brother, come on.”

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