South African rapper Costa Titch died after collapsing during a live performance. The rapper, whose real name is Costa Tsobanoglou, was just 28.
Fans witnessed the tragedy unfold at a music festival in Johannesburg on Saturday night.
A video on social media showed the rapper fall, then recover his footing with some help before falling a second time moments later.
Rapper dies on stage
No cause of death was announced. The rapper’s family issued a statement on the heartbreaking news on Instagram.
“Death has tragically knocked at our door. Robbing us of our beloved son, brother, and grandson. Constantinos Tsobanoglou (28), whom South Africa had come to love and idolize under his stage name ‘Costa Titch,'” the family wrote.
The rapper’s family thanked first responders for their quick response, as well as fans who have reached out to show their support.
“We’re thankful for the emergency responders and all those present in his last hours on this earth. As a family we are faced with a difficult time as we try to make sense of what has befallen us and ask that we be afforded the time and space to gather ourselves,” their statement added.
“The Tsobanoglou family thanks you for the love and support you have given to our son and may you continue to uplift him even in spirit,” the statement added. “Please keep us in your prayers and uplifted in the Lord.”
R&B star Akon, who signed Costa Titch to his label, was also among those who paid tribute after the “sad unexpected event occurring last night.”
“Costa Titch was more than just an artist. He was a brilliant superstar and hardworking man with a kind heart which endeared him to all around him,” Akon wrote on Instagram.
The death is under investigation. Police confirmed the rapper “collapsed while he was performing” at the Ultra South Africa festival.
“Our deepest thoughts and most sincere sympathies are with his family, friends, and our entire community who are together mourning this heartbreaking loss,” the festival said in a statement.
This is the latest sudden death to strike South Africa’s entertainment world, after the shocking assassination of rapper AKA last month outside of a Durban restaurant. An investigation into the murder is underway.