DJ Kay Slay has died after a four-month battle with COVID-19.

The tenured Hot 97 disk jockey and record executive, born Keith Grayson, died on Sunday (April 17) at the reported age of 55. The news of DJ Kay Slay's death was confirmed by New York City radio station Hot 97, where Slay worked for over two decades, and the DJ's family.

"Hot 97 is shocked and saddened by the loss of our beloved DJ Kay Slay," a statement released from Hot 97 reads. "We cherish the many memories created through the twenty-plus years he dedicated to the 'Drama Hour.' A cultural icon, Kay Slay was more than just a DJ, to us he was family and a vital part of what made Hot 97 the successful station it is today. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and fans worldwide and we will always and forever celebrate The Drama King's legacy."

The Grayson family also put out a statement acknowledging DJ Kay Slay's passing.

"Our hearts are broken by the passing of Keith Grayson, professionally known as DJ Kay Slay," the message starts. "A dominant figure in Hip Hop culture with millions of fans worldwide, DJ Kay Slay will be remembered for his passion and excellence with a legacy that will transcend generations. In memory of DJ Kay Slay, our family wishes to thank all of his friends, fans, and supporters for their prayers and well wishes during this difficult time. We ask that you respect our privacy as we grieve this tragic loss."

Kay Slay's passing comes four months after he was admitted to the hospital with the coronavirus in January. His diagnosis initially seemed less dire, with his brother first noting that his condition was not life-threatening. The situation recently took a turn for the worst with Slay succumbing to complications from the deadly virus over the weekend.

DJ Kay Slay, a.k.a. The Drama King, was one of the most recognizable voices on NYC radio and was known for his gruff style and ability to tap in with underground talent. He started his signature The Streetsweeper album series in 2003, the same year he would launch his indie record label, Streetsweepers, which would help launch the careers of rappers like Papoose, Saigon and others. Slay would release nearly 30 mixtapes in his career. His most recent album, The Soul Controller, came out last December. Prior to his fame as a mixtape DJ and radio personality, he was also acclaimed as a graffiti artist in his younger years.

See rappers mourning the passing of DJ Kay Slay below.

50 Cent

Snoop Dogg

Fat Joe

Funkmaster Flex

Lupe Fiasco


Crooked I

Statik Selektah

DJ Suss One


Peter Rosenberg


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