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Lil Tay, teenage social media star known for boisterous behavior, dies

Flowers on a casket. (Unsplash)

Lil Tay, a young social media star who went viral for her foulmouthed videos, has died. She was 14, according to multiple reports.

Her family announced the rising rapper’s death in a statement shared Wednesday on Instagram.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing,” the statement said.

“We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain. This outcome was entirely unexpected, and has left us all in shock,” the Instagram statement continued. “Her brother’s passing adds an even more unimaginable depth to our grief.”

Lil Tay (real name Claire Hope) rose to popularity in 2018 for her Instagram photos and posts where she flaunted designer clothes and luxury cars. In a March 2018 video, Hope claimed that the tub and toilet in her bathroom each “cost more than your rent.”

As of Wednesday, the teenager’s two YouTube videos — one touring Jake Paul’s home, one about her feud with internet star-rapper Danielle “Bhad Bhabie” Bregoli — amassed more than 4 million views, and her Instagram account boasts more than 3 million followers.

In 2018, the social media star gained the attention of YouTube personality Jake Paul, Bregoli, who went viral for her “Dr. Phil” appearance, and internet personality Woah Vicky.

Her videos also caught Snoop Dogg’s eye. But it seemed he was not a fan, calling out Lil Tay’s act in 2018.

“She need to be in school learning how to be a little girl not a dumb a— grown person,” he captioned a video of the internet star.

Lil Tay — who moved from Canada to Los Angeles with her family — told “Good Morning America’s” Juju Chang in an 2018 interview that “no one’s forcing me to do this” and her mother — Angela Tian — is not exploiting her.

She continued: “This is my decision. I’m happy with what I’m doing.”

Despite her internet fame, Lil Tay seemingly did not post more videos or photos on her social media accounts after 2018. Before her death, the rapper’s most recent Instagram post was a tribute to the late musician XXXTentacion.

The family’s Wednesday statement asked fans and social media followers to give “privacy as we grieve this overwhelming loss.” The statement also said that the star’s death, as well as her brother’s, “are still under investigation.”

“Claire will forever remain in our hearts, her absence leaving an irreplaceable void that will be felt by all who knew and loved her,” the statement concluded.


(L.A. Times staff writer Christi Carras contributed to this report.)


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