YouTube star Jamal Edwards died after taking cocaine, a coroner has concluded.
The 31-year-old music entrepreneur died at home in Acton, west London, on 20 February, and a full inquest into his death has now taken place at West London Coroners’ Court.
In his report, assistant coroner Ivor Collett said Edwards had returned home at about 4.30am following a DJ set in Islington.
“After drinking some alcohol with a friend, his behaviour changed and became erratic and he appeared paranoid, before he collapsed and became unconscious,” the coroner said.
Attempts to resuscitate Edwards failed, Mr Collett added. He concluded that Edwards had taken cocaine, “causing cocaine toxicity and resulting cardiac arrhythmia”.
Following the opening of Edwards’ inquest in June, his mother, singer and TV presenter Brenda Edwards, confirmed her son had taken recreational drugs before he died.
In a statement released on social media at the time, the Loose Women panellist said: “I have sadly learned that the cause of Jamal’s devastating passing was due to a cardiac arrhythmia caused by having taken recreational drugs and I wanted to address this myself to everyone who loved, admired and respected my son.”
In the statement she went on to warn that “these types of substances are unpredictable” and that it takes just “one bad reaction to destroy lives”.
“Since finding out the news I’ve been in a state of shock,” she said, adding: “It’s so important that we drive more conversation about the unpredictability of recreational drugs.
“Jamal is proof that this can happen to anyone. His passing has shown that one bad decision on any one occasion can lead to devastating consequences.”
Born in Luton, he grew up on a council estate in Acton, and went on to be appointed an MBE for services to music and was an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, which helps young people set up their own businesses.
Stars including Dave, Dua Lipa and Idris Elba were among those who paid tribute to him after his death, calling him an “inspiration”.
‘Jamal was trying to make it the best video any of us could make’
In July, Sheeran released a music video for his collaboration Are You Entertained with US rapper Russ, saying it was planned by Edwards but he died before it could be made.
Sharing a clip of the video with his Instagram followers, Sheeran wrote a lengthy post explaining how the collaboration first came about and why it was important to him to bring Edwards’ “vision to life”.
The singer said he first contacted Edwards for help with the video as he knew he could make something “incredible”.
He continued: “Jamal then planned it out for the next couple of months, sending me locations, ideas, cameos, trying to make it the best video any of us could make.
“We were meant to shoot in February, but the day before Russ flew out, Jamal tragically died. Our whole world was upside down, and I had to cancel and just tell Russ it wasn’t happening, but he was so, so understanding, to a level I’ll never forget.”
Sheeran said Edwards’ mother and sister Tanisha later gave their blessing to make the video, adding that he felt sad but “very proud” on the day of shooting it.
He continued: “I wish Jam was here to see it, I wish we’d done it together, but he would be buzzing how all his people came together and brought his vision to life.”