Dave paid an emotional tribute to Jamal Edwards during his concert at London’s O2 arena, telling the audience the SBTV founder was “the reason I’m standing in front of you guys here today”.
The rapper, 23, paused his show at the 20,000-capacity venue on Monday night to deliver a speech hailing the work of the music entrepreneur, who died from a “sudden illness” last month aged 31.
Edwards was also credited with helping to launch the careers of artists including Ed Sheeran and Jessie J through his influential YouTube channel.
Dave’s tribute to Jamal Edwards last night 🥺 pic.twitter.com/ernOJs39gd— Ben Anderson (@IAmBenAnderson) March 1, 2022
The arena screens showed early SBTV clips before a black and white image of Edwards appeared, prompting applause from the crowd.
Dave said: “Jamal Edwards is the reason I’m standing in front of you guys here today.
“There’s so many different emotions that all of us feel – all of us that were so connected to him in so many different ways.
“We all have a different experience of him but we all have so many things in common with the experience.
“And he’s one person in the world that just wanted to help and just wanted to see every single person that he touched shine.”
Thank you for everything🙏🏿❤️ words can’t explain pic.twitter.com/24zqPJoW5X— SANTAN (@Santandave1) February 20, 2022
Dave, real name David Omoregie, reflected on how Edwards had agreed to help him film a music video while Edwards was still a student at Richmond upon Thames College in Twickenham.
“He gave me an opportunity when no one would,” he told the audience.
“I did not have the money to pay for videos. Jamal Edwards did it for free out of the love and kindness of his heart.
“Every single thing that I have today – we have today – we owe to Jamal Edwards.
“As a scene, I want to say I’m so, so, so grateful for you, brother. Jamal, I love you, I love you, I love you.”
The show was among the first at The O2, originally known as the Millennium Dome, after Storm Eunice ripped off part of its roof last month, causing delays to its schedule. Dave will perform again on Tuesday.
A host of figures from the British music industry and beyond shared tributes to Edwards after news of his death broke last month, including the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Sir Richard Branson and former prime minister David Cameron.
Edwards was an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity headed up by Charles, and in 2014 was awarded an MBE for his services to music.
Music mogul Simon Cowell described Edwards as an “extraordinarily talented young man”.