Influencer Lil Tay — whose real name is Tay Tian — has confirmed she is “safe and alive” following an apparent death hoax.
“I’m completely heartbroken, and struggling to even find the right words to say. It’s been a very traumatizing 24 hours,” she shared in a statement to TMZ on Thursday, August 10. “All day yesterday, I was bombarded with endless heartbreaking and tearful phone calls from loved ones all while trying to sort out this mess.”
The internet star claimed someone had “compromised” her Instagram account to spread “jarring misinformation and rumors” about herself and her family.
Keep reading for everything we know so far.
What Happened to Lil Tay?
On Wednesday, August 9, an Instagram post — which has since been deleted — on Lil Tay’s account, seemingly written by her family, appeared to confirm her death.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing,” the Instagram statement read. “We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain. This outcome was entirely unexpected, and has left us all in shock. Her brother’s passing adds an even more unimaginable depth to our grief.”
The post also claimed that her brother, Jason Tian, had died.
“During this time of immense sorrow, we kindly ask for privacy as we grieve this overwhelming loss,” the statement concluded. “Claire will forever remain in our hearts, her absence leaving an irreplaceable void that will be felt by all who knew and loved her.”
An allegation from the social media post claimed, “the circumstances surrounding Claire and her brother’s passing are still under investigation,” and no cause of death was offered.
After news of her passing broke, confusion arose online after Lil Tay’s father, Christopher Hope, told Insider that he had no comment regarding the Instagram post about his daughter’s passing. Her former manager, Harry Tsang, also told the publication that he “cannot definitively confirm or dismiss the legitimacy of the statement issued by the family,” adding that the “situation calls for cautious consideration and respect for the sensitivities involved.”
In a separate statement to Us Weekly, Lil Tay’s management team had seemingly confirmed “the accuracy of the statement.”
Who Is Lil Tay?
The controversial internet star rose to fame in 2018, after a series of social media videos went viral. However, she suddenly disappeared from Instagram and YouTube that same year. The last Instagram posted to Lil Tay’s account was from June 2018, and was a tribute to the late rapper XXXTentacion.
“X you truly changed me. You were there for me when everyone wanted me to fail, you were there to give me advice, you were there. As a father figure, when I don’t have one, you were here, FaceTiming me and calling me for hours when I’m down, 3 hours ago,” the caption read, noting there is “evil in the world.”
Similarly, Lil Tay’s last YouTube video was uploaded in April 2018.
In 2021, her late brother, Jason, organized a GoFundMe page to raise money for his sister. The GoFundMe description claimed that she was “in desperate need of funds to support her fight against her abusive father” among other allegations.
“Tay is very passionate about music, dance, and all kinds of art,” the description said. “She has not been given the opportunity to show her talents to the world.”
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