New Orleans bounce legend DJ Black N Mild died a day before his coronavirus test came back positive. He was 44 years old.
DJ Black N Mild’s death was announced by the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office on Friday, according to The Times-Picayune. Born Oliver Stokes Jr., DJ Black N Mild established himself as a radio personality in the early 2000s.
The New Orleans native considered himself the first DJ to put bounce music on the airwaves, Billboard writes. “I was the first DJ in Nola history to have a radio mix show dedicated to Nola Bounce from 03-05 (up to Katrina),” Stokes wrote on his Facebook page in early February. He moved to Houston, Texas, after Hurricane Katrina and hosted a bounce mix show for KHOU.
He eventually came back to New Orleans, where he continued his music career. Stokes also worked as an in-school suspension coordinator at Arthur Ashe Charter School. Sabrina Pence, CEO of Arthur Ashe’s parent organization FirstLine Schools, said the company was “devastated” by Stokes’ death.
“We strongly encouraged anyone that had any type of symptoms — fever, cough, not feeling well in any capacity — to stay home,” she added.
On March 9, Stokes left work with a fever. When his temperature was taken at a local hospital, it was an alarming 102.4 degrees. One of his last Facebook posts blamed his illness on pneumonia. Stokes didn’t live long enough to know he had contracted the deadly COVID-19 virus.
He is one of 20 Louisiana residents who had succumbed to the virus as of Sunday. By Sunday afternoon Johns Hopkins University had tracked nearly 840 confirmed cases in the Bayou State and more than 32,000 cases nationwide.