Fans and celebrities around the nation are mourning the death of Lee “Q” O’Denat, the founder of WorldStarHipHop, who died of heart disease Jan. 23, at the age of 43.
O’Denat became unresponsive while at a San Diego, Calif., massage parlor Monday, the San Diego County Coroner’s Office told the Los Angeles Times. Paramedics tried and failed to resuscitate him with CPR and the medical examiner’s office concluded obesity was a contributing factor in his death. TMZ had previously reported that O’Denat died in his sleep.
O’Denat rose to fame in 2005 after establishing WorldStar, which has since become known for its crowd-sourced fight videos, Black entertainment news and music videos. In a 2014 interview with The Huffington Post, O’Denat acknowledged the criticism WSHH has received over its user-submitted content and sexually explicit materials.
“It’s hip-hop and anything with that name is going to be scrutinized a bit more,” he said. “Whether people like it or not, we’re showing the realities in which we live. People don’t like the truth, and sometimes it’s in your face. This country has become so obsessed with trying to deliver everything wrapped up in a nice blanket like we’re in a wonderland, and we show everyone that is not the case.”
Sources told TMZ O’Denat was working out in the gym in recent weeks to gear up for an MTV2 show about WorldStar, called “WorldStar TV,” premiering Feb. 3. WorldStarHipHop tweeted a statement on its CEO’s death Tuesday, Jan. 24, saying it will “continue in its various endeavors.”
We ask that you remember Q in your prayers and raise a toast to the sky in his name. RIP 🙏 pic.twitter.com/ixsULQil32
— WORLDSTARHIPHOP (@WORLDSTAR) January 24, 2017
Celebrities have offered their condolences online, including comedian Chris Powell, the host of “World Star TV,” T.I. and Charlamange Tha God.
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This can't be real bro I'm so heart broken over this man…we literally were just talking man about our plans and you was schooling me on how to maneuver through the business. "Keep your third eye open CP" you were such a genius man. Your vision was something that everybody was continually in awe of. You treated people with respect, always shared wisdom. An icon to our culture. You changed the world Q! Thank you for your contribution and your imprint on our planet. Thank you for encouraging me and believing in me. Rest in Paradise. Gone but never forgotten.
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RIP @qworldstar 🙏🏽 God bless ya family & friends. You was a real solid,stand-up dude. We can't thank you enough for all you've done for all of US!!! You were always pleasant & positive through all the madness. You built a brand that changed the course of culture. Your legacy will live on. On behalf of The Harris Family, BankRoll Mafia & The Hustle Gang, We offer our truest & deepest condolences. With Love & Respect. Rest Easy King. #RIPQ
Fans also expressed sadness over O’Denat’s death.
Wow, RIP World Star Q. As as complicated of a legacy as it gets, but easily one of the most influential hip-hop figures of the millennium.
— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) January 24, 2017
RIP Q 💔
I'll be screaming WorldStar every time there is action forever and always
— Abdi TV (@AbdiTV) January 24, 2017
The founder of WorldStar died. Going to watch a fight compilation in rememberance.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 24, 2017
At least one person wasn’t feeling much pity for O’Denat.