It's been a strange 24 hours. Yesterday, the shocking news of Lil Tay's purported death sent the internet into a frenzy. The announcement was first posted on her official Instagram page, with the statement reading that the social medial personality and her brother, Jason Tian, had passed away.
Many people were saddened by the fake news, yet others were more skeptical, deeming it a hoax.
In a statement provided to TMZ by Lil Tay's family, the 14-year-old reveals that she and her brother are alive, adding that the misinformation had left her "completely heartbroken." Lil Tay has been receiving phone calls about her "death," which is uncomfortable for anyone (let alone a minor) to go through.
"I want to make it clear that my brother and I are safe and alive, but I’m completely heartbroken, and struggling to even find the right words to say. It’s been a very traumatizing 24 hours. All day yesterday, I was bombarded with endless heartbreaking and tearful phone calls from loved ones all while trying to sort out this mess," she says.
She also addresses the previous reports stating that her real name is Claire Hope – this is also false, and her legal name is actually Tay Tian. Lil Tay continues, "My Instagram account was compromised by a 3rd party and used to spread jarring misinformation and rumors regarding me, to the point that even my name was wrong. My legal name is Tay Tian, not 'Claire Hope.'"
The young former rapper thanked Meta for helping her get her account back, and the phony statement – which some believed to be AI-generated – has been removed. It remains unclear why her father, Christopher Hope, declined to comment when asked about her "passing."
Lil Tay first shot to fame in 2018 at only 9 years old, often uploading profanity-laced videos and rap songs. She frequently showed off her luxurious lifestyle, posing alongside expensive cars and homes. She garnered millions of fans on social media but hasn't been active in the last five years.
In 2021, Jason claimed that Lil Tay was abused by her father. In a lengthy GoFundMe description, he details the horrifying purported abuse she went through. TMZ states the legal battle between Lil Tay's mom and dad had been ongoing since 2018.
Unfortunately, these fake death reports seem to be growing in number. A couple of months ago, a TikTok influencer named Mikayla was rumored to have committed suicide shortly after her nudes were leaked on the internet. The speculation began after smaller websites claimed the young woman killed herself, though there was no proof of this ever happening. Nevertheless, the news quickly spread like wildfire, and TikToks were made to mourn her "passing."
While these serious announcements on official social media accounts are usually true (most of the time), there's always a chance that the person was hacked or simply lying. Let's remember this for future death reports – I'm sure this won't be the last time we'll hear about it.
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