Rapper Lil Tay, Teen YouTube Sensation, Dies at 14 (Updated)

“It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news,” her family says of the teen, whose real name was Claire Hope

Lily Tay (Instagram)

Update: Lil Tay’s family has issued a new statement saying that she is not dead.

Previously: YouTube teen sensation Lil Tay, whose real name was Claire Hope, has died at age 14, her family said in an Instagram post on Wednesday.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing,” her family wrote. No cause of death has been revealed.

The family also mentioned the recent passing of her brother, Jason Tian, who rapped under the name of Rycie.

“We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain. This outcome was entirely unexpected, and has left us all in shock. Her brother’s passing adds an even more unimaginable depth to our grief. During this time of immense sorrow, we kindly ask for privacy as we grieve this overwhelming loss, as the circumstances surrounding Claire and her brother’s passing 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 continued.

Tay first came to fame at age 9, posting profanity-laced videos to IG, including one in which she boasts, “I just bought a Lamborghini.”

In 2018, she starred in “Life With Lil Tay,” a three-episode docuseries about her rise to fame on the Zeus Network.

She last posted to Instagram in June 2018, after her previous posts were deleted. As Insider reported at the time, she wrote “Help me” in an Instagram story.

Diomi Cordero, a spokesperson for Lil Tay, told BuzzFeed News, “I am rebranding Lil Tay … stay tuned.”

Her final IG post in June 2018 paid tribute to 20-year-old rapper XXXTentacion, who was shot and killed that month.

Allegations of abuse against her father, Chris Hope, surfaced in what appeared to be a hacking of her account in March 2019. Hope denied the charges, as The Daily Beast reported at the time.

The outlet spoke to Tay and her mother, Angela Tian, about the custody fight with Chris Hope. Tay told The Daily Beast, “I didn’t see him for multiple years… it’s obvious he just came back because he wants money.” She also accused a babysitter of locking her in a closet for “a few hours” while her father was “out partying.”

Hope told the outlet, “She was never locked in a closet. If there is any abuse, it didn’t take place at my house or have anything to do with me. Whoever was running the Instagram — I think we all know who was running the Instagram —made a lot of false allegations.”

Tian claimed at the time that, despite videos of her daughter showing off wads of cash, “Lil Tay has made no money. We got a lot of chances, but we didn’t accept them.”