Lil Tay, a child influencer, passed away at the age of 16 on Instagram after her death on August 9th. Many of her followers were quick to respond and expressed their suspicion by saying, “This sounds suspicious.”
Lil Tay, who was 10 years old at the time, became a sensation on social media in early 2018. She and her mother appeared on Good Morning America to explain her popularity, which was primarily based on bragging about money, cars, and “haters.”
Her account went dark during the summer and was only revealed yesterday after a statement confirmed that her older half-brother Jason had died unexpectedly and their deaths were under investigation. This story was featured in several news outlets, and her management confirmed its accuracy.
The news was unclear to those who had firsthand knowledge of the behind-the-scenes events. Lil Tay later revealed to TMZ that she was alive one day later.
Lil Tay’s story in a New York Magazine feature from 2019 depicts her upbringing in Atlanta, where she worked hard to move bricks and eventually attended Harvard before leaving. Her true identity as he was born to Claire Eileen Qi Hope is unknown, but she now lives in the hills.
Lil Tay’s age has been a constant source of confusion. Her camp claimed she was 9 when she first appeared, while media reports later stated that she would be 14 years old after her apparent passing, but if true, it would mean she is 16. This creates uncertainty in the way young celebs like Lilly Bean present themselves.
Lil Tay’s Instagram account was not the typical story of a stage mom, as she had surrounded herself with her younger brother. Jason, who was 16 at the time, was responsible for teaching her how to say and comment on topics related to fame, having studied famous YouTubers and previously working with them. He was reportedly cruel and even caused her to use racial slurs. According to one close friend, Lila Tayes said in an interview with The Atlantic in 2018.
SAD! – Lil Tay being instructed by her brother on what to say. See https://twitter.com/lJi7o2AXnp for more information from KEEMSTAR on May 21, 2018.
Following her brief viral incidents against famous YouTubers, Lil Tay was connected with a few talent managers in LA. At one point, the influencer Woah Vicky, who spoke offensively and claimed to be Black, became involved in ‘fighting’ with Bhad Bhabie at the Americana Mall in Glendale, California, which TMZ caught over night. Overnight, this event led to Lilly’s rise to fame, and two months later, she looked like she had disappeared from the internet.
Chris Hope, a Canadian lawyer, was ordered by prosecutors to return to Vancouver and shut down Lil Tay’s Instagram account. The New York magazine article reported that Hope and his wife were using her as scapegoats for professional development.
When Lil Tay’s death was reported, Hope did not respond to Vox’ request for comment. Insider and the New York Post reported that he could not comment on the Instagram post claiming his daughter’d died, and a former manager of Lilly TaY couldnot confirm or deny her status. Neither the Los Angeles nor Vancouver police departments had any information regarding her circumstances.
In an interview with TMZ, Lil Tay revealed that her Instagram account was hacked on August 10, leaving her feeling devastated and struggling to express her emotions.
Someone using the name Jason on Instagram, @termanii_ posted a picture of Lil Tay with ‘To be clear I am not dead’ and mentioned that he had lost access to the account. “MY SISTER AND I WERE WINNING OUR CASE. IT WAS BEEN A COMBLE OF DAYS BEFORE WE GOT IT ALL THE LINKS AND HER SOOC, AND IT HAD TO BOTH SIDESIDE.”
The account wrote in a subsequent post, apparently from the viewpoint of Lil Tay:
My brother and I have been planning to return to social media and stream since we were both underage. However, our parents became angry and denied our request, causing us to lose access to all social networking sites altogether. We eventually settled on moving in with our grandparents, but things got off the hook after talking to her for some time.
A user’s Instagram post stated that they would be able to upload content once they reached 25k followers and also asked for YouTube subscribers. This was seen as a cynical attempt to gain influence, although it remains unclear whether Lil Tay or Jason were the real culprits.
Lil Tay has been confirmed dead, as of August 10, 2 pm ET.